My clients usually don’t like me asking this question. Having met with me to ‘fix’ their relationships problems (which I don’t do BTW, I help you move toward your desired outcome.)The immediate response is always a “yes” but when I dig a little deeper and try to understand the reasons they want to be with someone, we often uncover elements of their lives that might need a little brushing up to really help them be ready with the dating process.
You see, dating can be really great but also really painful both emotionally and all also quite cringe-inducing. We need to be as ready and as prepared as we can be for the range of scenarios that occur during the dating process and usually when we’re not, we lose motivation and negative self-talk sets in fast. Because essentially, each person that rejects you is rejecting you, personally. Each person that likes you whom you don’t feel a connection with, affects your desires and each time another date doesn’t go as you had hoped, you have to build back courage, confidence and self-esteem all over again – and this gets exhausting.
Dating with a game plan (and I don’t mean the cold player-like games) I mean an actual plan of action, can help you manage the process a whole lot better than just hoping for the best at each swipe.
N.B I must point out that I will be talking about love from a heterosexual point of view as this is my reference point but I hope some of what I discuss is applicable to all.
Here’s how you can identify for yourself how ready you are to be dating and what you need to work on before you can move forward with more confidence:
- Ask yourself why you want to be in a relationship. Ask yourself why, 5 times, for each answer given. This will bring you to the root of the reason you want to be in a relationship. This can be an annoying process and one which you probably won’t enjoy doing but trust me, do it. Getting to the root of the reason is the first major step to making things happen for you.
- Once you have the root of your reason, sit with it for a while and see what you might be able to do for YOURSELF to make you feel better about it.
- Create a plan of action to help manage the reason for yourself – not looking for someone else to fulfil that need. When we look for others to make us happy, feel loved, feel confident etc we put an expectation on another which is unfair. If you aren’t able to do this for yourself, how can you expect someone else to 1. know what to do 2. be able to do it for you? Expectation is essential to manage for successful dating – more about this in another post.
To give you an example, I’m going to share my ‘Why’ with you. Luckily I kept a journal before I met my now husband and I journaled whilst we were together too. I’m sharing the Why of wanting to be in a relationship, my challenges and what I did to help me manage the situation better:
What I wanted/the Goal:I am a great person, I’m nice, kind, generous, loving and I want to share that with someone significant. I want companionship, to be able share my life with someone and enjoy a love that feels timeless, secure and exciting. I’m fun and I want to do fun things with a lover. I want to move into another phase of my life with a partner and possibly a family.
What I uncovered:
I was lonely. I had decided that my friends didn’t have time for me if they were in relationships, I decided that I only wanted to spend time with certain people. I would go out a lot and meet men just to fill the void of the lonely days. I felt like some friends didn’t want to do the same things that I did. I felt alone, ugly, fat, undesirable and unworthy of being in a relationship because all the men I’d met thus far were only for one thing. And I only let them be for one thing because I didn’t believe that I was worthy of having what I wanted.
What I did to Manage it:
I am great, I have a great circle of friends that I can share my life with. Even though everyone seems to be pairing up, getting married or having kids, there are still some amazing friends around that I can do stuff with. And if anything, I’ll just need to make new friends. I started to tackle my health, losing weight – went from a size 22 to a size 12 in 6 months which is something I wanted to do for a long time and finally did – helping me with my self-confidence and worthiness issues. Got a dog for companionship and to keep me active, which helped me to socialise and make new friends (and meet men); it also helped me to not go out so much and meet unworthy men trying to fill a void. Instead I sought solace in enjoying my time with my dog which was incredible for me. I only dated men that my gut feeling said to give them a chance. Everyone else got shafted pretty swiftly. I felt good. I felt as though I was living life, not waiting for a man to live it with.
8 months later I met Dwayne (my husband.)
By taking a step back from the dating process and identifying the deep feelings associated with the goal of being in a relationship; can really help you do more for yourself so that when you do meet that person, you’re really ready to be dating, by not expecting them to fill in the blanks of your own life.
Do it for yourself first.
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