Does dating trigger all your insecurities?
You worry that you’re too much of something (too old, too pudgy, too quiet, too shy) and not enough of something else (not witty enough, not smart enough, not slender enough, not tall enough).
You worry that you’ll be rejected by the people you think are your “type,” but have to find some way to politely reject the people whom you have no interest in dating. And neither one of those options are any fun!
Why is it that some people really enjoy dating, while others—maybe you count yourself as one of these people—don’t relish dating at all. You find it rife with uncertainty, disappointment and sometimes even embarrassment and shame.
Which one do you relate to:
Do you see dating as a frightening, intimidating, painful necessity, or as a journey of self-discovery? Do you see dating as a chore or an adventure?
The answer reveals if you believe certain lies about dating.
We all grew up believing certain things about dating, relationships and finding love—from society, from our parents, from our peers and from the movies or media.
One of the central—and most damaging—myths we’ve been told about finding love is that we have to make ourselves more attractive if we ever want to find love. Even worse, we believe that immediate attraction to someone trumps all when it comes to dating.
You may believe this, too. Maybe that’s why you’ve swiped left on so many profiles recently. Or why you said, “no” to a coffee date with that person you met last week because their body type wasn’t an instant turn-on for you.
Maybe that’s why you spend so much time obsessing over your hair or makeup or worrying about what to wear when you’re about to meet someone new for a date. It may be why you keep studying books or articles on how to come across as more “alpha” or “feminine” or charismatic, or why you feel so discouraged about ever being attractive or “irresistible” enough.
This superficial overemphasis on looking a certain way sparks insecurity within ourselves and encourages us to ignore others who aren’t our exact physical type. It’s what causes us to romantically dismiss these potential partners…even if we somehow sense the potential for something more with them.
This lie that immediate attraction is the most important thing is persistent. We see it promoted on social media, in Hollywood movies, in television commercials and sometimes among our friends and family.
And it’s causing us to pick the wrong partners, talk ourselves out of saying “yes” to the right person, or opt-out of dating and relationships altogether.
But this lie—this myth—has already been debunked a long time ago!
In 1985, evolutionary psychologist David Buss conducted an extensive study of the traits people rate as most important in finding a mate, and his finding was clear: The quality people valued most in a potential mate was not physical attractiveness. Nor was it wit, self-confidence, strength, wealth, or youthful appearance.
The number-one trait people sought?
It was kindness and understanding.
Is all the dating advice out there telling us we have to work on our kindness and understanding? No, it’s telling us we have to work on our abs, act more confident…
Look, it’s a wonderful thing to make yourself more attractive—it’s a gift to you and your partner to be.
But they’re NOT the key issues that are going to change your future.
It doesn’t matter how good looking you are or how fit your partner-to-be is. If you’re not kind to each other, or you don’t understand your partner (nor care to), your relationship isn’t going to be healthy.
It’ll be shallow and superficial and neither one of you will feel fulfilled and relaxed in the relationship, because you’ll be striving to maintain a false version of yourself. That’s just not sustainable.
There’s another lie we’re taught about attraction and dating, and this one has to do with how we FEEL about a potential mate.
We’re also taught that we have to think of our attractions in a binary way. Either you’re attracted when you meet them, or you’re not.
We may place great value on how much sexual chemistry we feel on a first date, or how drawn we are to a person, physically, before we even get to know them. If we aren’t blown away by a person’s looks, we may not agree to a second date.
To think of attractiveness in another way, imagine a light console where you can choose which kind of light and intensity you want. That’s what romantic attraction is really like: There are so many different kinds of beauty! Now imagine you only have one on and off switch. That’s what you’re taught—you’re either attracted or not. And if you’re not 100% sure right away—then just move on.
But here’s the fascinating (and scary part):
You know the people that you are crazy attracted to? As in, you feel almost shaky around them, or weak, or you can’t think straight?
It turns out, people we are attracted in that intense way are usually people we unconsciously know will hurt us in the same way our primary caregivers hurt us.
We are subconsciously attracted to them because we want to duplicate our caregiver relationship and finally get it right.
That’s a recipe for disaster!
You don’t want to end up with a partner who will abandon you the same way your parents did when you were a kid, or criticize you the same ways, or be controlling in the same ways. You want to fall in love with someone who is kind and understanding, not someone who unconsciously reminds you of your painful past so that you’re constantly working hard to change the script—and them.
What you really want is to…
Consider this story:
Daphne was a 40-year-old woman who had been mostly single for almost two decades. She was healthy and very pretty. One of her core beliefs was that the more physically attractive she was, the greater her chances of finding love. And she had no problem getting dates with handsome, accomplished men. But as successful as she was on the singles scene, she was not at all successful at what mattered most to her: finding real love.
It was only when she learned to reveal her innate qualities of kindness and generosity, and to choose only those people who gave the same back, that the tenor of her dating life began to change. Today, looking back, she feels that this change in her approach is the reason she noticed, met, and fell in love with her partner, who, after six years, continues to inspire her with his innate decency and generosity of spirit.
Now, does that mean that you have to force yourself to “settle” for someone with whom you don’t feel any sexual attraction?
Not at all!
That’s because attraction isn’t yes or no, black or white. It can grow…and there are tested ways to make that happen.
You can meet someone you think is mildly attractive, but also decent and kind. You can decide that you can be your authentic self around this person, and because this person honors and appreciates who you are, you feel good around them. You can decide that this person is a good match for you and that you can have a happy future with this person because they have your best interests at heart.
And you don’t have to choose between passion and contentment, because you can further develop your attraction to that person. Which means you can have BOTH passion and contentment in love.
No, you can’t FORCE your sexual attractions, nor am I suggesting you do. I’m saying you can develop them if the foundation of attraction is already there.
Immediate attraction isn’t as important as you previously may have believed. Kindness and understanding are traits both men and women admitted were the most important when picking a mate. Therefore, spend more energy cultivating your kindness and understanding, not just your abs, hairstyle, and wardrobe.
And, attraction isn’t binary. If you meet someone you like, and if there’s a spark, you CAN develop a strong attraction to them over time, and end up in a beautiful, loving relationship. You don’t need to feel weak-at-the-knees and it doesn’t need to be love at first sight. In fact, it’s often better that it’s not.
If you’re confounded by dating, it’s probably because you’ve placed too much importance on immediate sexual attraction.
It’s probably made you feel insecure, insincere and disappointed too often.
You haven’t been leading with who you really are, or using discernment to pick healthy partners or cultivate healthier relationships.
Therefore, you’ve ended up with unavailable partners or feeling so let down that you’ve been avoiding dating and relationships altogether.
But you can change all that, starting today, and I can help.
I’ve developed a process that shows you how to lead with the most beautiful parts of you (no, not your eyes, your abs or your wit)—but your authentic self. That’s because what I’ve discovered in my many decades of psychotherapy practice is that the most beautiful parts of us are the ones we most try to hide, suppress or deny.
I call this process Deeper Dating®.
Deeper Dating® is the quickest, easiest, and most direct path to true, lasting, healthy love because you’re no longer wasting time in unhealthy relationships or attracting unavailable partners.
But I can’t possibly work individually with everyone who needs to learn how to discover their authenticity in this way. That’s why I’ve partnered with Flourish, so I can extend that help and guidance to as many people as possible since almost all singles who are longing to find a life partner can benefit from these insights and tips.
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Discovering your Core Gifts and learning to honor and embrace them in order to find love is one of the greatest, most important journeys of your entire life.
And it’s one of the great privileges of my life to share what I’ve learned about this path.
The advice contained in the articles I’ve written for Flourish will help you see why you’ve been attracting certain types of relationship your entire adult life, why you may not have felt a true sense of romantic connection, and what it really takes to set your soul free in love.
I can’t wait to share all this with you!