Are You Afraid To Strike Out?

baseball girl

It's National Singles Week! There's no better time to get back in the dating game!

My son plays travel baseball. As a result, I found myself, as I do many a weekend, spending countless hours on bleachers the past few days. At one point, as the other team slipped ahead by several runs, I noticed that the coaches and supportive parents yelled things like, "Get into the game!" and "Play like you mean it!"; "You can do it, commit!" I got to thinking about baseball as a metaphor for other things in life — like finding the right relationship.

These young boys looked like they wanted to win. They showed up. They dressed in uniform. They took the field. But were they playing like they knew they would win? 100 Best Things About Being Single: Part 1 of 5 [GALLERY]

Were they really 100% "in the game?" Or were they already assuming that they would lose because the other team was ahead?

Similarly, when we're single, we sometimes look like we want to find our soulmate. We say that we do. We sign up with a dating service and tell our friends that we're available.

Like the baseball players, we even show up "well-suited." But are we really clear about our intentions? Do we know that we will succeed at finding a great relationship? Are we really 100% in the game? Or do we look good, but harbor deep fear and doubts? Are we unwittingly blocking the flow of love's energy by playing it safe and failing to really risk?

We say that we want connection, but flinch when it comes too close. We hold a little bit back in case it fails … in case it hurts.

Most of us have experienced some emotional wounding in our earliest childhood relationships with our primary caretakers. Depending on this history, we emerge as adults who are either afraid of not getting enough love (being rejected, abandoned, or not made to feel special) or as adults who are afraid of getting too much (feeling smothered, controlled, criticized, or trapped). It becomes pretty difficult to create a lasting, intimate relationship while unconsciously fearing the pain of being abandoned or smothered.

When we come from a place of fear, we tend to act defensive or guarded. Further, the more we like someone or depend on them for our sense of well-being, the more vigilantly we protect ourselves. Many of us have encountered in ourselves or in our partners such defenses as lack of availability, passive aggressiveness, addictions, avoidance, and/or manipulation, to name a few.

As long as either partner stays in this defensive posture, the relationship cannot grow. Neither person will truly get to know the essence of the other. Love and trust will remain elusive and the true potential of a relationship will not be discovered. 100 Best Things About Being Single: Part 2 of 5 [GALLERY]

Operating from a place of fear in relationships is a bit like stepping into the batter's box, getting a really good pitch and failing to swing the bat! One thing's for sure: no one ever scored a home run while standing at the plate watching balls go by. We must envision the universe hurling our perfect love towards us. We must believe it's on its way. We must sign up, suit up, show up and get 100% into the game despite our deepest fears.

Start by asking yourself these six questions:

1. If I were to decide to wholly commit to finding my mate, what would I do differently?

2. What am I holding back?

3. What am I most afraid of?

4. What is the worst thing that could happen if I were to get 100% in?

5. What is the best thing that could happen?

6. What am I waiting for?

It takes real courage to be honest with ourselves. So, commit to getting 100% in. Swing the bat! And if you strike out, swing again. In love, as in baseball, there’s a home run just waiting to happen. Is Marriage Really The Road To Happiness?