Question: I’m dating someone new and I feel things are really going well, but people are saying things that shake me up and leave me feeling confused and doubtful. I think he’s great and feel confident but people who should be supportive are scaring me and warning me and giving advice that just doesn’t feel right. I don’t know what to do as I want to be really open to him and this possibility.
Someone is telling her she’s going too fast…
Another is saying, it looks good in the beginning but men change…
Don’t let him meet your daughter too soon…
Take it slow…
People give advice but it’s from their own frame of reference. If you ask advice of 100 different people, chances are you’ll get 100 different responses.
Some advice is really fear based (i.e. “don’t tell him you’re marriage-minded or you’ll scare him off….or, don’t go too fast…”)
Some advice is downright inappropriate (“I don’t think you should be dating someone with a child, or who’s been divorced more than once, or never married, or who is starting over…” etc.) You get the jist.
Oftentimes the people giving the advice feel they are “experts,” yet they haven’t even mastered healthy love themselves.
Our society loves to focus on “rules” as is evident by so many of the contemporary dating books, TV shows and movies.
Rules like, if he’s late, or doesn’t call by a certain day, don’t go. Or, if she doesn’t offer to pay half the bill, she’s probably a gold digger.
I don’t believe in rules when it comes to love and dating, because each person is so different and has his or her own unique sensibilities.
I believe in principles — and focusing on having a clear vision and being your true self.
So when people say this or that, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy or principled advice. It means they may have been burned before and they don’t want that for you. They’re trying to protect you. But you don’t need to be protected, you need healthy and practical support.
1. Reject well meaning advice (trust your gut).
However well-intended this advice may be, ask if it makes sense for you. For example if you want to find your one this year, does it make sense to take it slow? Does it make sense to be fearful and cautious and sceptical? No! Instead, focus on being fully present with your dates, being your true self, asking questions and seeing how things line up.
2. Date with a marriage-minded mindset.
If your goal is to find your beloved and move into the next phase of your life with a partner, share that – don’t keep it a secret! Pursue others who want what you want. Conventional thinking tells you not to share that you’re marriage-minded because you’ll scare the other person off. But, if the other person doesn’t want the same thing, then wouldn’t it be cause for celebration to know on date #1 that he or she isn’t on the same page rather than a year later?
3.Talking makes up for time.
Having meaningful conversations about what matters most to both of you about your values, your vision for your life goals and seeing how that lines up really works! It’s possible to date for years and not really know a person versus those who date in a directed and marriage-minded way and get engaged after ten meaningful and directed dates.
4. Ditch the list.
Instead of looking at rules or lists of qualities people you date “should have”, ask yourself how it feels to be with that person. We all have unique emotional needs and while you may want “tall, successful and wants kids”, instead ask yourself how it feels to be with him or her.
5. Be visible.
If you want to find true healthy love, you’ve gotta be you! Anything keeping you from really showing up, sharing your vision and who you are (hint: fear of being rejected, fear of making mistakes, fear of having to settle, ahem) actually keep us from healthy love! Fear causes us to put walls up! Take those walls down.
The bottom line is this: while the people in your life who are offering you advice probably mean well, that doesn’t mean what they’re saying is right or that you have to act on it. Finding your one should be something that feels right to you, not other people. When you focus on the five things above and ignore all the well-intentioned noise from those around you, you’ll be in a much better position to receive the love you’ve been dreaming of.
If you have questions you’d like answered, send me an email personally to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to answer!