Date Like a Goddess.

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The mere thought of dating again after the breakup of my three-year relationship is crushing—to put it mildly.

Will anyone like me? Will I scare men away? Will they find me too overwhelming to bear—too intense, too loud, too opinionated, too emotional?

Dating is inherently insecurity-provoking. It’s a little fun, and a lot terrifying. But it doesn’t have to be so terrifying. I’ve decided to do it differently this time around.

I’ve decided to date like a goddess.

In the past, I’ve measured my sexiness and desirability by how cool I could play it around men. How much I wouldn’t say. How distant I could be. How mysterious I could appear. How little of my heart I could reveal. Maybe, I thought, if they rejected me, at least they weren’t rejecting the “real” me. But is that really any better? In the end, it just feels like a cowardly cop out.

To be honest, I wanted so badly to be that mythical creature we always hear about: the cool girlfriend. The effortlessly elegant girl who doesn’t have any big needs or wants, who never gets pissed off and always goes with the flow. The girl who doesn’t have any baggage or broken bits and who also happens to have a cellulite-free a** and abs flatter than a tabletop.

But the problem is, that’s impossible. It’s not real. The super cool, perfect girlfriend is as real as calorie-free chocolate layer cake and dogs that don’t bark.

She doesn’t exist.

I am not her. Neither are you. And that’s a beautiful thing.

And yet, we try so hard to be her. We dilute our emotions and memorize dating tips from magazines that somehow drill themselves into our brains like infectious pop songs. And these rules, as harmless as they might seem, are poison:

Don’t say too much. Don’t scare him away.

Don’t call him first.

Don’t act like you like him too much.

Play it cool.

Don’t be too emotional.

Don’t chase him.

Has any of that ever worked for any of us?

Not really. Because it’s complete and utter bullsh*t. Because rules like these encourage us to shrink, to be ghosts, to hold back, to play games.

How small will we make ourselves? How far will we stretch ourselves? How voiceless will we become?

How long will we second-guess our every word and map out complicated mind game strategies to “keep him hooked?”

By doing this, we strip ourselves of the raw beauty that makes us alive. We strip ourselves of the brilliant sparkle that lights up our eyes. We strip ourselves of our humanity.

Besides, how could we possibly attract the right partner if we’re not being true to ourselves?

We can’t. It’s not possible. There are so many wonderful humans out there who would love to get to know the real us. And you know what? They don’t want to play games. So let’s say a swift goodnight to all those exhausting rules and games; they don’t serve anyone.

Because finding love doesn’t happen when we’re mentally choreographing our words, buying internet e-books about how to keep a man or not calling him because the rules say not to. Love happens when we are being real. It happens when we are brave enough to be ourselves.

So be as big and loud and beautiful as your soul tells you to be. Be present. Let your heart be your dating rule book guide. Approach finding love in the same way you’d approach dancing naked in a thunderstorm—with ripe enthusiasm, with openness, with raw, dripping curiosity. Approach it with the precious wonder of picking wildflowers in the summertime.

And if someone doesn’t like the masterpiece of your heart, if they’re scared away, that’s cool—they’re not the person for you. And hey, we just saved ourselves the trouble of a three-month bullsh*t relationship that would ultimately be revealed to be a lie.

We need to take more pride in who we are. We will never be voiceless cardboard cut-outs or flawless Barbie dolls.

We are human f***ing women with dripping hearts and big needs and wants and real emotions—and no, this does not make us crazy. Or “too much.” It makes us beautiful.

We have big appetites. We’re hungry for life, for food, for sex, for chocolate, for love, for gusty breezes and warm sunshine—and we’re thirsty as hell for passion and adventure and raw experience.

We have—gasp!—mood swings. Deal with it. We are not emotionless drones; we feel pain knock on our hearts like a hammer, we feel sadness sing our name and seep into us like a cold waterfall, we feel joy light up our skin like fireflies and we feel the growling pull of jealousy, too.

Yes—we feel. We feel a lot.

We feel because we are not two-dimensional glossy centerfolds. We are three-dimensional women. We are loving. Kind. Courageous. Intelligent. We have scabs on our hearts and love in our veins and hell, we’ve made some mistakes.

Being a goddess means having the guts to show our real selves to the world, every day—rain or shine.

But you know that already.

So, gorgeous, inspiring, smart, kind, loving, strong, f*cking awesome women of the world—can we be done selling ourselves short?

If we are to date, then let us approach it with our hearts, with our warrior souls, with the gritty genuineness of the mossy earth written in our eyes. Let’s date like the goddesses we are.

Write this treaty on your heart and abide by it with all the fierceness of your lioness roar:

From this moment forward, I refuse to gag my gorgeous voice so that another will like me. 

I refuse to dull myself down in any way. 

I refuse to put on an act, sprinkle glitter on my scars, hide my heart and pretend I have no opinions about anything.

I refuse to abide by the three-day rule or wait for them to chase me—if I like someone, I have the freedom to let them know. 

I refuse to silence the whispers of wisdom in my gut. 

I will never again call myself “crazy” for experiencing a colorful, swirling array of emotions.

I will not make it my job to fix anyone. And, I will not make it their job to fix me. 

I will speak the complete truth about what I need. 

I will find love by leading with the luscious wisdom of my heart—not by silencing myself or being afraid of scaring someone away. 

Be more than a cool girlfriend or an easygoing chick. Be you. All of you. The complicated, beautiful, strong, struggling human being that you are. Be the you who is liberated, learning, curious, outspoken, strong and confident in her skin.

Being our raw, vulnerable selves is the sexiest thing we could ever do.

Because when you’re you—all of you—you will fall in love. It’s a guarantee.

First, you’ll fall madly for yourself. For your rough edges. Your scars. The stretch marks on your thighs. Your wild sense of humor. The messiness of your hair. The incandescent glow of your smile.

Then, you’ll fall head over heels for life itself. And finally, you’ll fall in love with an amazing human who is completely worthy of you.

Putting ourselves out there in a real way is its own reward. It’s freedom. It’s beauty. It’s divine wonder.

When we put ourselves out there authentically, we can’t lose.

~

A kick-butt song to inspire us! B*tch by Meredith Brooks:

~

Relephant Read:

She Chased Him. {Poem}

~

Author: Sarah Harvey

Editor: Toby Israel

Photo: Brendan/Flickr

 

~

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Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey resides in the mysterious mountains of western North Carolina. Through the journey of healing her own trauma and pain, she has found power in poetic expression, art, and dance. She loves supporting people to step into their power, find their voices, and flourish. She believes in resilience. She believes that sometimes, our darkest days lead to the most unexpected, breathless joy. She currently offers life coaching sessions and is pursuing her Masters in Counseling. She feels most passionate about supporting those healing from trauma with a creative, heartfelt, and gentle approach.  Follow Sarah on Facebook and her website!

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anonymous Apr 12, 2016 1:37pm

GOD THIS IS BRILLIANT!!

anonymous Apr 2, 2016 5:58am

Emphatically being yourself is a very appealing theme for an article to women trying to land an LTR, but if noone is buying what you are selling…

anonymous Mar 26, 2016 1:26pm

With all my heart, thank you Sarah for this beautifully and eloquently written piece. Precisely what I needed to read and be reminded of today.

anonymous Mar 25, 2016 4:26am

I LOVED your article and can’t practice it MORE! What scares me most is that women prefer to be somebody else so that they feel loved, not realising that the love they receive is then not for them but for the persona they created.

anonymous Mar 24, 2016 4:32pm

Yes! The cool girlfriend role doesn't work, it might for a while but eventually it will break you. Just be real. Bring on real, gritty life and love x

anonymous Mar 24, 2016 1:34pm

I have a new date tomorrow, I'm so, so glad I read this today!! Thank you 😀

anonymous Mar 24, 2016 11:39am

Just….yes…
This couldn't have come at a better time. Thank you.

anonymous Mar 24, 2016 8:23am

Girls like that definitely

anonymous Mar 24, 2016 7:39am

Thank you so much for this. I really needed to read these words today.

anonymous Mar 24, 2016 5:59am

Totally with you on this! I was so scared of being ‘overwhelming’ as i was told I was in my last relationship. I made myself small. Wrong! Torture. I began dating again eventually and recently said to my new man ‘how is this for you, is this too much texting and communicating, just tell me and I can change what I do, I want to hear what you want and need too’ and he said ‘I want you to communicate with me just how you want to’. … My heart opened and my tears came out, the grief of putting myself in a box all that time before, squeezing myself to be a person I am not so I wouldn’t be ‘too much, too loving, too emotional’. And here is someone saying ‘please just be you’ . i know that person should be me standing as a ‘goddess’ saying this is just me and what I do, but I also think in a relationship there needs to be discussion and understanding of both peoples needs of communication and time and space apart. If it doesn’t work in love and laughter and harmony between you on these things, it is time to go. Because you will not be serving your own or each others needs as growing loving people for sure.

Lilli Illi Apr 2, 2018 7:27pm

Uhm...if you can't keep your cool and go with the flow you shouldn't be dating...

Annette Romero Nov 28, 2017 12:28am

Sarah Harvey , this is beautiful ❤️

Savannah Wishart Nov 27, 2017 9:30pm

Thank you for this ❤ Odd timing (in the best of ways). Coming out of a 5 year emotionally abusive relationship and met someone new before I planned... Was planning go stay single for as long as possible but somehow he's come along. I've been writing out today all the things I'm going to tell him about my baggage - because there are things he needs to know. And that's exactly what my thinking has been - keeping a bit distant, mysterious... Etc. Telling so much so soon... It's terrifying. But I've made the decision to do it. Your words are reassuring that it's the right choice. Thank you. ❤

Rachel Holladay LeBlanc Oct 25, 2017 3:16am

Sarah, this is beautiful. So many of us put ourselves last and minimize our thoughts, opinions, wants and needs. We make ourselves small, and it’s so harmful. Thank you for encouraging all of us to reclaim ourselves and be authentic.

Kelli Jerome Oct 18, 2017 12:52am

Excellent.

Anya Lozinski Jun 7, 2017 3:45pm

Absolutely love it!

Leighann Luffrum May 3, 2017 2:16pm

Completely & utterly LOVE this & know I will read it often. Thank you �

Megan Looney Feb 4, 2017 9:45pm

Yes yes yes!! I so needed this!

KP Hari Feb 4, 2017 4:01pm

See, now I am confused. I have been loving this way all my life and every single person has told me that I give too much too soon. So before going into my next dating phase I just decided to play the game and now this pops up on my wall... I live my truth but men can't seem to handle it...what does one do now?

Andrea Fuentealba Feb 4, 2017 5:20am

Being real, intense , smart and funny will scare man sometimes. Be aware of that. The best part? Only a brave enough (warrior ) will stay.

Toni Price Feb 4, 2017 2:52am

Sarah, I am bawling... My three year man broke up with me over one fight.. where I showed emotion...Lol... He had a new squeeze within one trip out of town so I know it wasn't me... But I tried to not be the emotional one...He never wanted to talk... I can't wait to find the man who will love all of me! The passionate woman that loves so hard is scared to do that again... I feel all of those emotions and feelings fuel who I am... This last one lost big time! Thank you for validating the feeling that I had along if I can't be me... Is it fair to either of us? ....No.

Kristi Thornley Feb 4, 2017 1:58am

I don't agree with the dog barking comparison. My dogs don't bark. (Basenjis)

Hakim N Feb 3, 2017 8:01pm

Thank you Sarah, this is enriching. You make us all sparkle by putting it so beautifully into words.

Adrieanna Voss Feb 3, 2017 6:25pm

Sarah, you most definitely resonate with my heart! Your words are so raw, fresh and undeniably honest. Thank you for sharing all your pieces!

Irma Rachmitasari Oct 12, 2016 9:44am

Love this!! Amazing article, thanks for sharing..

Angelina Romero Oct 10, 2016 3:52am

Awsome thank you!!!! Excelente articulo! Felicidades! �

JoAnn Fanning Aug 28, 2016 3:45am

AMEN

Laksh Rampal Aug 5, 2016 1:01pm

I feel you.

Kristen Ann Jun 15, 2016 4:17pm

Thank you for this! I just broke up with a guy, and one of the reasons was because he didn't like emotions. ex: When I told him I was feeling sensitive during my period, he told me that I should just "choose not to." There was no passion, and I need passion!

Naomi Hutchison May 1, 2016 3:38am

Completly love this.

Tee Aiche Apr 30, 2016 12:13pm

I love this. Thank u Sarah. Inspiring me to get pen on paper and share the love and all that comes with it xoxo