Monthly Archives: July 2017

Behaviors to Guide You There

Your ability to stay aligned with your goal of a healthy relationship is bound to be put to the test as you navigate the highs and lows of dating. There are times when you may feel the urge to give up, crawl up on your sofa, and never date again. You could feel rejected and let down when someone you like doesn’t feel the same. You will also feel the adrenaline pumping when you meet someone new, and actually hit it off. In a nutshell, dating will test your capacity to stay present, be confident, handle anxiety, be vulnerable, and be patient.

Knowing deep down you want love and companionship, but feeling burnt out by what it takes to attain your dating goals, commonly presents an internal conflict for most single individuals. When in doubt about what to do, remind yourself you don’t have to make any major, rigid or permanent decisions on whether to give up on dating, and acknowledge that it’s natural to feel confusion and impatience when things aren’t clicking in the ways you had hoped.

If you are going to make the commitment to put yourself out there, it is important to approach your love life with a healthy and reality-based mindset and not give up prematurely. It’s about tweaking beliefs and behaviors that may interfere with dating. It’s also essential to grasp what it really means and what it ultimately takes to create the relationship of your dreams.

Below are 15 signs you are approaching dating with a healthy mindset and acting in ways that promote connection.

1. You allow yourself to take breaks from dating when necessary, but don’t give up on your relationship goals. This means having control of your impulses, and refusing to give in to urges to quit online dating after a few bad dates.

2. You do more than simply show up for dates. You engage, share, contribute, try and be present. I like to tell my clients they can go on 100 dates, but if they are not present, open and emotionally available, forming a connection will be nearly impossible.

3. You give potential partners a true chance. This may mean you go on multiple dates with the same person (even when the first date wasn’t a perfect 10) and you give yourself time to figure out how you feel about someone by taking the opportunity to get to know them better. Remind yourself you don’t have to rush to decisions.

4. You take emotional risks and allow yourself to be vulnerable. Believing being vulnerable is weak is a problematic perception. In fact, love, connection and intimacy are all based on vulnerability. Bonus: you understand that being vulnerable does not mean oversharing or moving too quickly. It is about developing trust over time.

5. You believe in authenticity. You don’t hide who you are, disown the qualities you aren’t proud of, or change who you are based on someone else’s wishes.

6. You work on yourself and participate in self-discovery and reflection. You remain open to learning about yourself as you date. You reflect on what’s working well for you and what needs improvement without shaming or judging yourself. You are willing to learn from your hardships and miserable dating experiences.

7. You are clear on the type of partner you hope to attract and the kind of relationship you aim to create. While you are open-minded about your dating life, you have a strong sense of your desires and goals.

8. You heal dysfunctional patterns and old relationship wounds so you don’t repeat them. You own it and let go of blaming others for your own life circumstances. Also, you are willing to say goodbye to and end relationships with toxic people.

9. You believe in love. While you may be persuaded otherwise, if you want love, you must believe it exists.

10. You focus on feeling deserving of love even when your mind tries to convince you otherwise. If you can’t think of ten things you have to offer to a partner, start a list right now and let it grow as you reflect on your strengths, accomplishments, personality traits and values. Long story short — be confident and believe in your worthiness.

11. You ditch protective behaviors, such as playing games or drinking too much on dates. When you like someone, you go for it even though it’s scary and anxiety-producing.

12. You understand dating is more than just picking the next person to ask out or profile to message. It’s about intention and deliberate action that is in line with what you are looking for.

How They Maintain Hope While Dating

For the better portion of my 20s, I’ve been single. And not just solo, but really-really-really-want-to-be-in-a-relationship-crazy-obsessed-single-gal. It hasn’t always been a pretty experience for me, and for several years, I’d find myself completely defeated and disappointed after I went out with yet another guy who I couldn’t picture sharing my life with. Over time, I watched my self-confidence plummet, and noticed a gradual shift in my mindset: instead of being hopeful, I became bitter and angry. And though it took a stint in therapy for me to really make an improvement in how I approached the dating world, what also helped was smart tactics from my fellow friends who were also single, on how to stay positive. While there will always been evenings when I’d rather stay at home with a bottle of my favorite red blend than to take a chance on a potential partner, these hacks have helped me see the love potion bottle half-full.

Let these brilliant ideas, from single folks just like you, get you out of a rut, ASAP:

 

“I ask myself if I’d want to date any of my friends’ partners.”

“When I begin to get jealous of my friends who I think have it all together: the perfect guy who adores them, the shared one-bedroom apartment to save on rent and being able to chat about having a baby in the next year, I ask myself if I would want to date their partner. It sounds silly, but the answer is always ‘no.’ And when I put it in that respective, I remind myself that finding love is so personal and so dependent on where you are in your life and who you meet. I realize I don’t want ‘their life’ – I want my own with a partner who will love me and vice versa.” -Nicole, 32

 

“I remind myself of the perks of being single.”

“I do really want a relationship and I do date a lot to help make that happen. But when I’ve had a really long day at work or I’m just not in the mood to speak to or see anyone, I feel lucky that I can just go home, put on a face mask and tune-out the world. Or, when I want to book a random trip, I don’t have to check in with someone. When I remind myself that I should savor my single days instead of counting them, I feel rejuvenated to live my life as big as I can before a partner and babies tie me down.” -Kate, 33

 

“I stop looking at guys as dates, and see them as people.”

“Men are people, too – crazy concept, right? It took me a really long time to figure out that the pedestal I was putting men I didn’t even know was far, far too high. A friend told me to go into a date with the intention of getting to know a person, not a ‘man’ who could be my boyfriend or one day, husband. This way, I actually get to know who they are instead of thinking of them as part of a couple. It’s really helpful!” -Lauren, 28

 

“I take a week off.”

“When I feel myself getting all uptight and anxious that ‘OMG, I’ve been single for three years’ – I take it as a note from the universe to chill out and take a week off from dating. When I get into those moods, I’ll start setting up lots of dates, even with guys I’m not interested in, because my head is spinning. But now that I’ve learned how to pinpoint what I’m feeling, I’m able to stop the whirlwind and take a week off to connect with friends and myself again.” -Allie, 27