As promised in my last post I outlined my first evening lecture/meeting/discussion group on dating and, also as promised, I am sharing the information here with you.
We live in a society that tells us we are broken somehow if we are single. So we throw ourselves into a relationship or marriage just so we can feel normal in the culture we live in. Well, a first step to get to that relationship is usually dating. But there are 2 things to consider: a) why are you really dating? and b) what do you want from this?
I am dating a lot for fun and to connect with people. That is my only goal. Whatever comes after a first fun date is whatever comes after that date. It could be a fun time of no strings attached (NSA) sex, a sexy makeout, a second date or any number of things. I do not pre-plan because my only desire in dating is to meet new people and connect with them. You, however, need to figure that out for yourself.
Ask yourself: What do I want? What am I looking for? What is my ideal outcome? I suggest writing down what comes up for you, so you can keep track of it. And just to be clear. This is NOT about your potential partner, this is about the act of dating. What do you want to get out of dating.
During the evening we will be having an exercise to go deep with that question. But I can’t do that exercise here with you, so you just have to go inside and dig deep. Be truthful to yourself, even if you feel you [should] be looking for something other than you are actually interested in. That might feel yucky but it is honest.
The second step is to look at all the things that get into the way of dating. And believe me, there are a lot of things. However, I often hear time and money constraints and I believe them only in very few cases. We often use these constraints to avoid looking at what is actually going on. Because “I don’t have time to date.” feels a lot more comfortable than “I have fear because I think I am not attractive and no one will ever like me”.
Here is a list of things that get in the way. It is by no means exhaustive but it is what I could come up with because I have been in every one of these places:
- self-defeating beliefs (I am not ____ enough, fear of rejection, I don’t want to feel ___)
- out-of-my-league beliefs (They are so much more ____ than I)
- scarcity mindset (not enough time, money, but also not enough dating partners, etc)
- competition belief (every other person is better and there are not enough date-able people around)
- holding back your needs, wants, desires (this could simply be called this dishonesty)
- hiding vulnerability (I won’t say what I actually think or feel – also dishonest)
- not showing up (nasty one, pretending to be something else than I am to please the other person)
You might not have all or any of them. Or you might have completely different beliefs that hold you back from having the dates you want. I suggest sitting down with a cup of tea / coffee, or whatever your poison is, and take a good hard look at what beliefs actually keep your dating life bogged down. Cut through the voices that offer easy answers and look beyond that. And if you find an easy answer like “I have no money to go on dates”, then ask yourself what is underneath that? What does it mean to you not to have money? Why is that important to you? Why do you think it is important to have money to be able to date? You get the idea…
Stay tuned for Dating 2 where we will look at your dating pool and how to date your people.