Sooo, dating huh? Even seeing the word ‘dating’ is bound to provoke some sort of reaction- and, for many, quite a strong one! I recently recorded a video with Project Love on releasing dating nerves (for their soon to be released online course on getting ready for love, which promises to be great…) and it got me thinking about the beliefs and emotions that we hold when it comes to dating and how they can hold us back. Even if you’re not dating some of these thoughts and feelings probably apply to other situations where you are meeting new people – job interviews, making new friends, meeting the parents…
In my experience, when it comes to dating, people fall into three categories – the nervous, the over-investors, and the numb. Each can stop us from having the kind of dating life we want. Clearing these thought patterns is the key to being a hot date – someone who enjoys the dating process, knows who she is and what she really wants, and trusts that her needs will be met. What is more sexy than that?!:
Nervous people HATE being watched, judged, performing – they don’t want to be laid bare and feel like they are under scrutiny. They worry about not doing themselves justice, they worry about not fancying the person but being trapped in relationship to them, they worry about not being fancied and being rejected. Nervous people may also show up as hostile. The ‘oh they’re just a player’ school of thinking, ‘don’t trust them!’ and even hypercritical ‘ug, they’re weird/too nice/ too arrogant, it would never work’. This ‘everything is bound to go wrong’ type of thinking ultimately attracts the very things we are afraid of.
To understand what is going on here, it’s important to remember these nerves are just a way of trying to control and understand the unknowable. Nervous people are crying out to simply surrender, let go, and enjoy the process instead of fixating on the outcome. Because, guess what? If you get hurt, you’ll be ok. I promise. And there is joy out there waiting for you, so go out and find it…
Over-investors can come in two forms. The first is the ‘wooooooooo this is fun! Let’s all get off with each other and flirt and not take this too seriously’ school of thinking. These are the people that just want to play and who eschew relationships for physical connection or fleeting affairs. Many believe that it is just an enjoyable pastime, while harbouring underlying beliefs about not being able to connect. Their playful behaviour actually takes a lot of energy and at the same time reinforces their fear-based thinking about the dangers of intimacy. If you are the playful type, you may be undermining your capacity for connection and missing out on all its rewards, perhaps you have even noticed that you don’t always find it satisfying? (This is about balance, please keep enjoying yourselves too!).
Another type of over-investor is the person who is putting all their energy into finding intimacy and becoming slowly depleted in the proces. Going on as many dates as they can, jumping into emotional or physical intimacy before they are ready, being too scared to surrender to the process and allow things to grow, even to allow themselves to be surprised. They are trying too hard to control the outcome and may in fact sabotage relationships by moving too fast and aggressively or by ignoring signs that they are in an unhealthy dynamic.
Over-investors of both types are guilty of giving so much of themselves away, whether emotionally or sexually, that they have nothing left. Over-investors need to take time out to romance themselves and to offer themselves the same kind of attention they offer others.
Lastly, we have the group of people who are simply numb – jaded, disinterested, possibly disappointed but definitely not getting excited anymore. They may be going through the motions but for these people everyone may just melt into one big puddle of ‘not-what-I-want-but-who-gets-what-they-want-anyway’. Without a sense of hope and possibility, these people may find that they are actually missing out on great people and great experiences. They can’t see what people have to offer anymore and they aren’t connecting because their interactions have become so routine. On the surface they may be playing a fun, interesting, mysterious or sexy role but it’s just that – a role, a mask.
These numb people may not even realise they are numb – they may think that they’re just not that bothered but it’s their inability to receive joy from others that is the clue to their disconnection and ultimately leaves them shut off from a more rich and satisfying life. Tackling this issue if you are a numb person is about striking the balance between self-containment and connectedness – about being independent but also able to both give and receive from others. Numb people may simply feel threatened about letting people in, craving connection but – yep, you guessed it – not feeling comfortable with the vulnerability and lack of control that this involves. They would benefit from being more engaged with both people and the world around them.
What to do?
So here’s what I recommend to clear these patterns of thought and let your inner Aphrodite shine…:
- Identify your feelings and beliefs around dating and tap on them
- If you are a nervous person, start tapping on all the imagined things that can go wrong – let these be cleared so that you can start enjoying the process
- If you are an over-investor, make a list of ten ways that you can treat yourself – just you, alone – and do it! Take time out to restore your energy. Also, examine your patterns of behaviour and tap on the motivations behind them.
- If you are numb, imagine yourself in a fulfilling loving relationship, imagine the feelings you would experience, tap on any resistance that emerges (and if your first thought is ‘but I don’t want to connect to others’, well, tap on that…
If you need help with tapping, please get in touch!