Do you ever feel like there’s just no one worth dating where you live?
Or that all of the good ones are taken?
That dating sites are just kind of. . .blah?
Maybe you’re feeling resigned, and starting to just accept that there are no options…thinking maybe love isn’t in the cards for you.
But deep down you wonder what else might be going on. You know there’s more to it, but you can’t put your finger on what’s making you feel unsettled. Especially since you see other single people getting together, and even getting married. Why isn’t it happening for you? You’re getting frustrated and feel like giving up.
So what could be going on for you?
Maybe you can relate to Ariella or Joel.
Ariella is a beautiful 38-year old woman who said she wants to find love in the biggest way. She’s out there sporadically dating but she complains that men just aren’t serious and it’s hard to find what she wants. While Ariella is beautiful, she has a fear of being rejected or not being seen. She had a tumultuous childhood living in a war zone and experienced a lot of loss. She’s afraid of getting hurt.
Joel, a 48-year-old, is divorced and has been dating for years. He says the reason he’s still single is that he hasn’t met The One yet who shares his values. And because of his nasty divorce, he says he’ll only marry someone who signs a prenup. Joel actually dated someone for two years, and she agreed to the prenup and everything else he wanted, but he just couldn’t pull the trigger. Something about her bugged him and he couldn’t pinpoint what it was, so he walked away.
Ariella and Joel are both out there on the scene, single and open to dating. However. . .they’re not available.
How can that be? On the surface they are both good catches, but something’s getting in their way.
Essentially, they’re getting in their own way. And guess what?
When you have trust issues, no one is ever right.
When we have trust issues, we’re allowing things from the past to affect the present and close off the future.
We aren’t present—we’re projecting our past and our fears onto the people we date. For example, if you grew up with a critical father, then when your spouse says something to you like, “I love your cooking but I don’t prefer this dish.” Or “Are you wearing that shirt tonight?” you may take it as a criticism and react without perspective. If your spouse doesn’t like your shirt or a particular dish, does that mean he or she doesn’t love you?
Here are 5 ways to clear up old trust issues so you can show up open and ready for a trustworthy partner:
- Take responsibility for your own experience. That includes telling the truth and owning the fact that what’s triggering you “out there” isn’t really the issue. Take responsibility for your internal responses and your reactions.
- Know that the past doesn’t equal the future. Instead of feeling ashamed about some of your dating choices in the past, remember that you’re different now, your life is different now, and this person in front of you isn’t the same person who hurt you all those years back. Your future doesn’t have to follow suit—in fact, when you’re awake and aware, it won’t!
- Remember that feelings aren’t facts. Only facts are facts. While we always need to tune in and honor our feelings, we can’t always rely on our feelings to tell us the absolute truth about a situation. For example, feeling criticized doesn’t always mean that your partner actually criticized you.
- Get clear about when your past is running the show. Sometimes the dynamic with a partner begins to feel eerily familiar, as though you’re dating someone who is just like your mother or your father. When you feel those old familiar patterns and reactions coming up, acknowledge that you’re reacting out of a past pattern, and instead, make a conscious choice to look at the facts and reframe your experience to bring you back into the present.
- If you’re feeling triggered by someone you’re dating, thank them. Yes, you read that right. When you get the urge to pull away, or when you start to feel anxious and fearful, that’s a clue for you that there’s probably a trust issue just waiting to be acknowledged and cleared. Without your partner triggering those issues, they’d never come to the forefront where you can see them and heal them! They’d stay hidden, where they can sneakily run the show. So yes, even if you don’t thank your partner out loud, be grateful for what you’re learning about yourself.
The truth isn’t out there. It’s in here.
In Joel’s case, he got to see that it had nothing to do with the women he dated. His fears prevented any woman from being right. He got to see that he was actually avoidant and emotionally unavailable. He opened his eyes and took responsibility for the truth: his fear of being smothered or losing his independence came from growing up with a controlling mother—not from the women he was dating.
Ariella got to see that her fears of abandonment happened when she was a very young girl, and this was affecting her present. When she got complete from the past and realized that she’s no longer a child living in a war zone and could create any future she wanted, she began to open up in a really beautiful and vulnerable way.
When you take full responsibility for your experience and start to notice where your own fear is sabotaging you, you can finally show up as the real you and clear the inner space for love to thrive—without the barriers of protection keeping you from living full out!
Does it take courage? Heck, yeah!
But remember: the past doesn’t equal the future. On the other side of fear is the love and life you dream of.