3 Steps Toward Dating With a Worry-free Mind
I’m not financially successful.
I have kids.
I’ve had a bankruptcy.
A family member has mental illness.
I’m a virgin.
So many people I work with worry that once someone knows about X, Y, or Z, they’ll judge them and not like them. Maybe that person will even dump them before things even get off the ground!
So it seems like it would be better to just wait—they’ll get to know each other and get the other person to like them first, and then it’ll be okay to share some of the “scary” stuff.
For example: Cindy was formerly in two abusive relationships and doesn’t know if she should share that at all.
Matt has a liver problem, and therefore needs to take a daily rejuvenating nap. He worries he’ll be seen as weak, or not active and will put someone off, so he decides to not share it on a first date.
Janet has spent 25 years working and feels she isn’t as financially successful as she should be. She wants to talk about it with her new guy, but keeps waiting until “the perfect time.”
What do these people all have in common? Flawed thinking!
Holding important information back from your dating partner means you’re not showing this other person the real you. And we all know where that leads… It leads to frustration, anxiety and worry that we’ll be rejected.
Because we all want to be seen, loved and accepted as we are.
Still the question remains, “What do I do?” I’ve found there are three simple steps to reduce, if not eliminate, the “worry chatter” present in so many people’s minds when they’re dating: 1) Don’t add meaning; 2) Let go of shame; and 3) Realize “this” is part of your journey.
1. Don’t add meaning.
In order to answer the question, “What do you share and when?” we first have to look at what’s really going on under the hood. Because it’s really all about how YOU feel about these things and your relationship to them. In other words, it’s about what you’re making these things mean.
We don’t suffer or have confusion because of what happens in our lives—we suffer because of the meaning we add. If you need to rest because of an illness, you need to rest. Matt made it mean that he’s flawed and women wouldn’t want him, and would instead would only want to meet people who are perfect. But that’s not actually true — it just means he needs a daily nap.
Where are you adding “unhealthy” or unnecessary meaning in your life?
2. Let go of shame.
Guilt says, “I did something wrong” and shame says, “There’s something wrong with me.” If you think there’s something wrong with you and your circumstances, you will be attracting the same judgment from others. Where you are is where you are. That’s it. Janet’s financial picture doesn’t define who she is. When she let’s go of shame, her focus can be on what’s real for her: doing something she’s passionate about, pursuing projects that engage her creativity, and having time and space for a loving husband and family.
Your choices are your choices. Where are you carrying shame you could choose to let go of?
3. Realize “this” is part of your journey.
Each person is unique and each and every person has different challenges, values and goals. If we were all the same, how boring would that be?! Whatever happened in the past got you to where you are right now. When I earnestly reflect on the course of my life’s journey, I realize there’s something freeing and empowering about how each step along the way, each event and experience has been needed somehow for me to become who I am today. And how wonderful is that? Cindy’s conscious, internal work to leave behind a pattern of abusive relationships has helped develop her enormous sense of compassion.
Be proud of who and where you are. And ask yourself, “Where can I change my perspective to see a past or current challenge as part of my journey?”
Here’s a little secret:
You just can’t say the wrong thing to the right person.
When I met my husband, I was in a great place and really clear about who I was. So I freely shared with him about myself, some things about my childhood challenges and my long relationship journey. And you know what he said? “It’s an honor to be with you, Bari.” And I could see how heartfelt he was about it.
That’s what you’re going for, isn’t it? Someone who sees and cares about the real you. If your dating partner gets uncomfortable or doesn’t call you after you’ve shared with them authentically, guess what? You’ve just saved yourself the time and avoided the pain of continuing on with someone who, in the end, won’t love all of you the way you deserve to be loved. And for the right person, they’ll love you that much more.
If you’re ready to make a plan about how to break through anything standing in your way of being your true authentic self, a Breakthrough to Love session can the just the ticket. Book your session now and let’s make this your year for healthy love.