Your feelings about the ultimate objective of dating can determine whether or not dating is stressful or successful for you. (Who wants to run a marathon if what’s at the finish line is scary?)
Here’s what one woman I worked with did to remedy those fears:
Barbara had always dreamed of a loving relationship. She’d been successful in her career and her intelligence and discipline had earned her advanced degrees and made her a highly sought professional.
Yet for a long time, she approached dating with apprehension and even dread. Each new guy made her uneasy with a thought that had long plagued her, “I’m going to meet some awesome guy, and the Universe will say THIS IS IT, THIS IS THE ONE my life as I knew it will be over.” With each date she thought in terms of those BIGs (“the one” “marriage” “the end”) and her anxiety mounted and actual second and third dates all but disappeared.
She’s not alone. While some people are more scared that they WON’T find a match, there are also those who fear they WILL. Often people have both fears at the same time because the root fear is similar: “When I meet guys, I have an overwhelming sense that this could be big.” Whether it’s because we are geared to think of each person as marriage or long-term relationship material, or because we’re scared that they could be. All this ‘could be big’ thinking doesn’t exactly make for relaxed, confident dates or the kind of emotional vulnerability required to let a relationship develop.
Where the stakes are high, the pressure and fear is higher. Not only was Barbara scared to lose her freedom and ability to focus on her career, she wanted to date with purpose and told herself that if she did it exactly right, she could dispense with the unpleasantness of meeting lots of people, get it over with and have the relationship part of her life wrapped up.
With that goal in mind, she envisioned her perfect partner and started to screen the applicants. After all, she approached her academic and career life in pursuit of excellence and specific goals, so she surmised that dating would be no different.
It’s no surprise that dating, which started off as something to enjoy in her time off, started to become a chore for her. She got rid of guys left and right. At first she thought she was merely being selective, but deep down it she started to realize that she was approaching this part of her life with a deadened heart because she was simply overwhelmed with the enormity of her task: Find Mr. Right, right away, settle down, check!
After getting guidance about not making emotional decisions about whether a new connection is “BIG” right away, she decided to make her new focus simply meeting people, having fun and having new adventures instead. She decided to forget about Mr. Right and loosen her parameters a little bit as a temporary experiment. Maybe she’d say yes to the clever guy who didn’t exactly match her list, or go out with the guy who seemed nervous on a second date.
She decided that meeting new people without the pressure of finding the perfect physical, emotional and life-skill match could be freeing bolster her confidence and allow her to drop a lot of her fears. Without all the expectations life could surprise her!
She would not ditch her strict values, commit to anyone who wasn’t right for her, or have casual flings, but she would be open to getting to know more people without so many objectives and expectations in mind. “Granted,” she said, “I’m going to meet more guys this way… but my old way I wasn’t meeting anyone!”
At first she was worried that she was letting herself down and that she’d been taught all her life to respect her goals and expectations and to never settle for anything less. Would opening the doors waste her time? But then she realized that the approach which had served her so well in all other areas of her life, had caused her a lot of fear about relationships. Because a relationship was a thing to get perfect, and check off a list, she wasn’t thinking about a living, breathing relationship with a partner.
Something amazing happened when Barbara stuck with her experiment and didn’t give up. She started having fun again because she started to relax. She met a few guys who were certainly more frog than prince, but she actually enjoyed some of her frog-dates because at last the pressure of getting everything right was off. And, for the first time when some kind, funny, successful Princes came by, she wouldn’t pull up her draw bridge and lose their numbers.
When she stopped viewing relationship as something to get done, she began to appreciate the people (including herself) IN the relationships. She started to see dates as creative, collaborative ventures instead of job interviews.
A few months later she said that she’d been so busy enjoying her new life and adventures with a sweet guy, that she didn’t even have time to think about all the things (and objectives) that used to panic her. Like a kid who rides without training wheels for the first time unaware that she’s pedaling under her own power, Barbara found herself enjoying an ever unfolding process instead of freaking out about the goal.
Whether you’re afraid of having (or not having!) the perfect guy, loosening up on expectations and goals can help you find out what your real heart wants.
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In addition to working with local clients and students, she is able to consult with clients all over the world. She is also phenomenal artist, writer and teacher who contributes to numerous websites.
She is available for chat and phone sessions, offering a variety of payment options. Learn more about her and schedule a session with her through her Psychic Scoop profile page.
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