When you’re looking to go back into the dating world, it is important to know what you desire. Are you looking for a long-term relationship, perhaps even marriage? Or are you just looking to get your feet wet again, and see what it’s like out there? Maybe you’re just looking to have a good time. Once you define what your desired outcome is, you can set a clear intention that will act as a compass to navigate your journey.
The most important thing to remember about dating, that most people overlook, is that it is PRACTICE! If it is truly just practice, then how would that change your relationship with you?
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We often say that hope is the first thing that comes into a relationship, and is often the last thing to go. To take the pressure off and to utilize dating as a great tool for personal growth we have a process we call: Date To Discover™.
Rather than placing emphasis on the other person, wondering if they are the right fit for you, and what they are all about – turn your attention inward. Start paying attention to your inner dialog – “What am I saying to myself about myself?” Do you have a negative inner dialog in response to dating? Or are you saying positive things about yourself and your prospects? Your attitude towards dating will largely determine your results.
Being aware of our inner dialog gives us the opportunity to make adjustments. For example, if we find that we can speak our feelings easily with someone we are not attracted to, but find it difficult to do so when there is an attraction gives us the opportunity to spend some time practicing being emotionally authentic under all circumstances.
Be certain that you do not approach dating in reaction to past hurts. When we have heartbreak, we often decide that we never want to feel that feeling again and so we make the opposite of what happened to us of the utmost importance. For example, if your partner cheated, then we focus on finding someone who is faithful and trustworthy. It’s not that these traits are undesirable, it’s that we are still caught in the energy of what caused the heartbreak which can draw it to us again and again simply by being caught in that story.
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Additionally, when our behavior is in reaction to what just occurred our values in relationship are not in alignment with what we desire in a partner for our overall lifestyle. We had a client who came to us after ten years of marriage and two kids who was unhappy that his wife was constantly requesting that he, “Tone it down.” We discovered that he dated his wife in reaction to a woman who had cheated on him and broken his heart. He certainly married a faithful woman, however, she was not accepting of him and his inherent personality.
When we desire love, we look for it outside of ourselves, yet it must be INSIDE us in order for it to be mirrored back to us. Ultimately you cannot say or do the “wrong” thing with the Right Person. So, whether you are looking to date casually, or wish to connect with the love of your life, the best approach is . . . to be true to yourself, not twisting into a pretzel to get love. That way when you are in a committed relationship you’ll know that person loves you for who you truly are, inside and out.