As a diviner of relationships and intuitive coach I help people through heartbreaks and self-discoveries in the wild tundra that has taken over modern-day dating. And quite frankly, I wake each day – no matter the conflicts faced the night before – thanking the divine that I am no longer in the market for a new lover.
I empathise with those who are looking for love because the modern dating culture seems to have become a minefield of deception, game playing and limitless confusion. Today, what you think is the right thing turns out to be wrong and everything is about power plays, down playing and denying.
A look at some of the bestselling “dating guides” on Amazon showcases a wealth of so-called rules that include how long you should wait to contact, who should make the contact, how to have someone eating out of the palm of your hand and more. All of these guides are chalk full of trickery and petty manipulation that has created a modern dating culture filled with deceptive and at times totally conflicting qualities. Is it really any wonder why so many struggle to find their footing in the dating world? These days many prefer to stay in lifeless relationships than venture back into dating and who can blame them? The rules seem to change with every tick of the clock and it seems it’s more about getting the advantage than having fun falling in love.
Here is how we can find a little bit of honesty in an increasingly dishonest dating culture.
1. If you like them then rock it!
Stop pretending that you don’t like someone in order to appear cool, gain power or because you are afraid. If they are not interested in you then they are not interested. Accept it and move on.
Everything, would be much simpler and efficient we were more straight forward about how we feel. Stop worrying about whether our honesty will scare them off. If they are truly that intimidated by the gift of another’s interest do we really want them in our lives? You be you and let them be them…ultimately it’s the only way to get a feel for who people really are behind their masks.
2. Court one another.
Dating is supposed to be fun and frankly we need to get back to that revelry! It’s time to get rid of destination obsession and just get to know one another without the heaviness of “where is this going” and other questions that often times are symptomatic of putting the cart before the horse.
Do you want to know where a relationship is going? Than allow it to unfold and blossom as it is meant to; not as it will if you are obsessing over every tiny move and detail. This distorts your energy and your broadcast and ends up altering how your lover responds to you. It creates heaviness where you want a bit of fun. Sometimes it’s not about the destination; those who are married or engaged are no more secure or better off than you are where you are at in this very moment. Take out the comparison and learn to enjoy the ride.
3. Put down your device.
These days, everything is done through a device of some sort. Entire relationships are started through text before ever meeting one another face to face. You chat back and forth and exchange photos until one of you is brave enough to suggest getting together. He texts you a picture of his car so you know which one is his when you come down from your place to be picked up (remember when they used to pick you up at the door?! I digress). You head to a mutually agreed upon place and sit across from one another and can hear crickets chirping. You realize that you really have no idea how to interact face to face and there is no emoji for real life dating.
It’s time to put down the device and start to have more face to face interaction or at the very least talk to one another through that device. You remember that it has a phone feature, right? We need more communication that isn’t entirely predicated on words floating across a screen. It’s time to disconnect so we can reconnect.
4. Stop using your past wounds to justify your crappy present behavior.
Everyone has been hurt. We have all cheated, been cheated on, rejected, excluded and otherwise wounded in our past relationships. Not everyone, however, is using those experiences to excuse fearing commitment, taking advantage of others and otherwise being a total jackass to those who care about them. Being hurt in the past does not give us carte blanche to hurt others in the present. Face the things you went through, heal and let go. Do not become the tormentor because you were once tormented.
5. Don’t downplay what you want.
Do you want a relationship? Are you looking for someone to settle down with? Do you know that someday you want marriage and kids? Then be honest about it! If they do not want those things do not suddenly change your tune or think that you can bide your time. Instead show them your fabulousness and they will change their mind. You are indeed quite fabulous. So much so that you should not have to hide what you want or otherwise waste what is ultimately precious time on someone who is not on the same page as you. If you have things that are non-negotiable than stop compromising yourself.
6. Stop following so called dating rules designed to sell books.
There is no single right or wrong way to approach dating. Ultimately the books and guides that others write are their interpretation and ultimately they’re designed in such a way as to capture your attention and get you to purchase their book/coaching program/etcetera. Sometimes it’s worth it and sometimes it’s not. Ultimately you need to find out what works for you. Very much like fashion it’s best to not follow every trend when you are navigating the dating landscape. Know what works for you and what doesn’t, and stay true to your standards and boundaries.
7. Stop using people.
Stop being a romantic opportunist. Choose someone because they make you come alive with passion and feel empowered. Do not choose someone because you want a (any) warm body there, because they happen to be good in the sack or to validate your status. You do not need others to warm your bed or make you look good; make yourself look good and learn to be your own best lover. It’s important to choose someone who ultimately is going to support you in ways that has nothing to do with external validation.
8. Get to know each other.
Ask questions. Do they like their eggs scrabbled or over easy? Do they prefer water or mountain terrain? Are they into skiing or snowboarding? Do they want to travel or are they more into their immediate community? These days everyone is in such a damn rush to get to the end result they are glossing over the whole “getting to know you” phase. Is it really any wonder why so many people realize well after the fact that they are attached to completely incompatible people? Marriages and relationships alike suffer when they are established on potential and not who you are actually getting involved with. Take some time to learn who they are beyond the mask we all wear when we are first getting to know someone. Rushing into things will constantly result in heartbreak. It’s time to practice a bit of discernment and slow it down!
9. Heed the Golden Rule.
Treat others how you wish to be treated. Period.
10. Stop talking yourself down.
Is there someone that you like? Then go for it! Stop telling yourself they are out of your range or too good for you because then they always will be. Remember that we treat others how to treat us by how we treat ourselves. If you talk yourself down or walk around feeling and believing your are unlovable you will attract those who affirm that externally.
11. Don’t take yourself so serious.
Love is supposed to be fun and yet so many approach it like it’s a business arrangement and they are knee deep in serious negotiation. Crack a joke occasionally and let others see your sense of humor and luminous smile! Date not for destination but for the chance to get to know someone no matter where things go. Send a corny or off handed text and care not as to whether you look silly. Just be and have fun. If you have fun chances are others around you will as well.
12. Save the sex.
At the risk of sounding absolutely archaic, maybe it’s time we get to know one another before we share a bed, couch or backseat. I get it, people these days are getting intimate much sooner and I’m not opposed – hell that is how 90% of my relationships formed. It is not, however, always the ideal situation because it can muddy the waters.
When we mix the chemistry of our brains on sex with a new connection with little formed we make things exponentially more complicated. If you are only looking for a good time then run with it, but if you have found someone that you think you could sit still with, maybe taking a moment and holding off will let you build a foundation that will allow for that to happen.
13. Let go of expectation.
Expectation is a tricky beast. It is hard to get out from its headlock and yet that is exactly what we need to do if we want to date in a more relaxed atmosphere. It’s good to know what you want, but not to become so rigid in it that you overlook someone who may be what you need and not just what you want. Get to know people and let go of who you expect them to be. Let things evolve and move organically and let go of the assumption of where you think things should be and when. Stop missing out on the present because you are so caught up in your preconceived notions of what should be.
14. Be compassionate with yourself.
You learn something new with each date both about yourself, relationships, other people and what you want and don’t want. Everything is one step at a time and though that may be frustrating its time to accept that with compassion. Rather than getting upset because your friends are getting married and you can barely muster a date on a Friday, accept that you have your own path, your own trajectory and it’s not going to line up with others. It is, however, where you need to be in that moment and the acceptance of that is a beautiful and freeing realization.
The more honest we are with ourselves and what we want, the more we can go out into the dating world an honest person. Save the games for the playground and demand a higher caliber of person in your life who is willing to do the same. Ultimately whether your dating experience is riddled with deception or honesty is a choice you must consciously make.
I encourage you to stop worrying about whether you are doing it right according to others and begin doing it right according to you and your own individual needs.
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