In my experience, dating is hard. It seems like it’s fun and exciting from the outside, but when I was single and dating, I felt like I was always searching for a relationship with That Person—wondering where He was, what He was doing right then, and when I would finally be able to meet Him.
A friend of mine views her dates as “investigative missions.” I think this is a great way to approach dating when you’re looking for a relationship. Here’s how it works:
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Be objective while you’re dating
Find out everything you can about the person on your dates through fun activities together and discussions. For example, find out if he’s any kind of addict—if he mentions that he loves whiskey four times in one conversation, that’s a red flag. If he mentions his baggage or his issues with a past girlfriend, that’s a red flag.
Be objective. Writes down what happened on the date and intuitive hits about the person.
These investigative missions happen for a few months before you allow yourself to become intimate. This way you can be sure that you really do want to take it to the next level with someone, instead of letting intimacy cloud your 20/20 vision and intuition.
That’s my friend’s process.
Working with a dating and relationship coach
My friend’s process above was my introduction to objectivity in dating. Then a few years later, I was able to work with a dating and relationship coach, Melanie Hersch. Working with her changed my life and I highly recommend her.
Here’s what I learned:
Find out what attachment style you have by reading the book Attached. Knowing this will help you be more aware of why you’re feeling what you’re feeling.
There are three main attachment styles: anxious, secure, and avoidant. Anxious attachers tend to feel anxious when they don’t get reassurance or the intimacy that they crave. Secure people believe that they and their partner deserve love. Avoidant attachers create intimacy and then create distance. Anxious attachers and avoidant attachers coupling together often cause one another a lot of grief because it occurs as if the anxious one is chasing after the avoidant one.
They can also trigger one another’s core wounds:
The anxious attacher’s abandonment wounds will be activated being with a partner who appears distant. The avoidant’s wound of inadequacy, of not being “enough” will be activated by being with a partner who always wants more. Each of these attachment styles can be brought back into balance with a secure partner.
Guess which one I am…Anxious. I sometimes found myself in relationships with avoidant men who drove me absolutely up the wall and I never knew why. Until I read this book. Everything made sense and I was able to know who would drive me mad and who might be a better match.
Journal about your feelings and intuition after every date
I strongly believe self documentation is the key to life. If we don’t record our feelings and the messages we’re getting from our guides on the other side, it becomes easier to disregard or override ourselves and our intuition. When we review what we wrote at the end of each week, we can see our progress or lack of progress in any area of life. For example if you look back at your journal after dating someone for 5 dates and it didn’t light you up each time, time to say “Boy, Bye.”
Focus on what lights you up.
Feeling “meh” about a guy isn’t where it’s at. Don’t waste your time or his.
Soften into your feminine
Softening takes practice in our day and age. It means letting him be a man. Read a David Deida book and learn about polarity in intimacy (Dear Lover or Intimate Communion). There’s a reason women let men ask them on dates: because it lets a man embody his masculine and a woman embody her feminine. Modern women are sometimes used to being in their masculine, working hard, making things happen, being driven. Try letting him ask you on a date. Let him call you. Let him pay (but to be clear don’t use men to buy you meals and drinks). If you feel anxious, reveal it.
If you’re feelin’ it, take him on a camping date for a final test
The camping date is key. You spend quite a bit of time together with preparing for the trip, driving to the place, setting up, and adventuring together. If he drives you up the wall and you can’t wait to get out of the car (this happened to me once), time to say goodbye. If you had a great time, thumbs up!
Be real and reveal what’s up for you
For quite some time I had the habit of pretending with the men I dated. Pretending that I’m cool as a cucumber, calm and collected…not anxious. On the inside, that most often wasn’t the case. When you have questions, ask. When you’re having feelings, reveal them. Honor yourself.
Request what you want and need
On the same page as above, be courageous and reveal your desires and your needs. If something’s not working for you and you have another solution or another request, reveal it. This keeps the air clear between you.
Dating can be an adventure if we can use tips like these and have an awesome dating and relationship coach by our sides. Good luck out there.