Dating Can Be Hell.
Not really. It isn’t hell. It’s a test of belief in oneself.
We all have the best intentions for ourselves and future relationships.
The idea of this “improved or very stable” version of ourselves in the context of romantic involvement with someone we love is a wonderful thought—or for some, a fantasy.
And the older you get the more it may just be a fantasy. To get out of one’s head and actually live in the moment when it comes to dating is a major challenge.
It’s how we see ourselves in our minds versus the actual experience of dating.
We forget how insecurities can overpower and overwhelm all good intentions. How wonky vulnerability can feel, especially if we’re older and have a lot of bumps and bruises under our belts.
We can spend time alone “working” on a new, improved version of this self only to find that the battle begins when we come into contact with someone we’re attracted to who could possibly fall into the future mate category. Just the thought brings out the monsters.
And there are two sides to the monster coin.
The first is our recognition that we’re done with approaching dating in the way that didn’t work for us in the past. Great! So, how do we stop the following monster repeats:
- >> Ending up with someone we’re sorta attracted to that pays us any attention. Thank God!
- >> Forcing our will on someone to be with us because were so damn lonely.
- >> Becoming needy in fearing abandonment, and being in such a hurry, we attract the same person over and over again.
Whew! No more lonely Saturday nights.
The second monster is the actual date progression. We start talking to someone online, or maybe we met them while out and about in our lives; it could even be a blind date. However we met them, when the conversation starts, the insecurities come roaring in…does he like me? Do I like her? Did I say the wrong thing? Maybe that was TMI? Ugh.
All of this head chatter is what does us in, it’s not necessarily the other person. We act out an entire relationship in our brain.
The biggest monster of course, isn’t on the coin, it stands alone with its face stamped on love currency.
It’s the self-sabotage that comes from self-protection.
Our insecurities start to build a case against the person to protect us against getting hurt.
“Was that a red flag?”
“They said this, but then contradicted themselves by saying that.”
“I always get hurt, I cannot let anyone get under my skin, because I lose control of myself.”
“If I act in this way, it will ensure I remain in control.”
There’s a long list of thoughts, which our head formulates about our current dating situation. Unfortunately, it influences our actions. It influences how open or closed we are to another. It makes us do things against ourselves and it makes us act weird.
There are people who cannot handle being alone and others who don’t know how to break out of it. And each one sabotages what they truly desire in their heart.
How does one stop the monsters from running—or I should say, ruining—one’s dating life?
1. Recognize your insecurities.
If you can’t be alone without the attention of the opposite sex, stop, take some time alone and stop focusing on a gal or guy. Focus on you. What do you do for your own joy? What are your goals that you are waiting to achieve until that person walks in the door? Can you be happy now with just you?
If you’re stuck in a rut of being alone, check out the insecurities that keep your heart under lock and key. Stop looking at the opposite sex as being the force who will be in control of your heart, if you let them in your life. Find control of you and know that even if you lose control, it’s okay. Just recognizing your own process is half the battle.
2. Stay in the present moment.
When your thoughts revert to past times or you find yourself reacting to a situation with far too much emotion, realize you are not here, you are elsewhere. And on the other end, get out of the future. Do not live in “what if.” The place to calm an anxiety or worry is by being as fully present to now as you can be.
3. Don’t settle.
If you have been in a past relationship in which you settled or learned how important certain characteristics are to you, then recognize it and don’t just fall into something, because you don’t want to be alone. All you’re doing is ensuring future unhappiness or being alone at a future date.
4. Go slow.
If you’re in a hurry to get the finish line–before you really have a chance to get to know someone—then ask yourself, why? Do you just want a warm body? Do you need attention so badly? Or is it the fear that this is the last person who you may be attracted to and is available? Any of these thoughts are normal. It’s if we allow them to steer the ship. Take your time in getting to know someone, pace yourself, so that you can stay emotionally present in the moment.
5. Have fun and be spontaneous.
Yes!! Have fun!! Stop thinking and start living. Be you. All the time. No regrets, no second guessing, just pay attention to how you feel when you’re with someone. Are you digging you?
Editor: Lynn Hasselberger