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I think we can probably all agree that the modern dating landscape often feels like a bit of a battlefield.
Whilst technology has made it so much easier for us to ‘put ourselves out there’ and connect with potential love interests (lots of them!) it can also create a fair amount of anxiety and overwhelm.
There’s just so much choice nowadays – and not only in terms of people to date and places to date them, but also with regards to how we go from casually dating someone to a committed relationship.
Do we play it cool and laidback to try and keep them on their toes?
Do we date a bunch of other people at the same time so that we don’t seem too keen or put all our eggs in one basket?
Or do we put all games aside and be ruthlessly direct from the outset about what we’re really looking for in a partner and relationship?
The most effective way to deal with this conundrum is to ask ourselves a very simple question:
What kind of relationship dynamic am I really looking for?
Because, if what you’re after is just to ‘win’ someone’s attention and affection, then the first two options may well achieve your goals sufficiently.
However, if what you truly desire is a healthy, committed and authentic relationship, then my advice is to gravitate more towards option three:
Being honest about your dating goals from the outset.
I know, I know – this sounds terrifying, particularly as we live in a culture that often leads us to believe that ‘playing it cool’ or being ‘aloof’ with the people we’re dating will somehow result in them falling madly in love with us.
The problem here is that in doing so, we’re hiding who we really are.
I can’t tell you the number of love-coaching clients that come to me asking for tricks or tips on how to ‘play’ a man to get him to commit.
The last thing they want to hear is that the only ‘tip’ I’m willing to advocate is being totally transparent and honest with their date about what they really want.
“But they’ll freak out and run a mile!” they’ll often say in response.
The reason we’re all so terrified of being honest with the people we date is that we’re afraid we’ll be rejected if we do so.
But, ironically, it’s the lack of honesty that often leads us to being rejected, not the other way around.
No one ever falls in love with a person through deception and game-playing.
We don’t love someone because they’re cool and aloof – we might fancy them or become infatuated, but it’s certainly not real love.
And you, my friend, deserve real love, not just an imitation.
But, in order to get it, you have to be brave and vulnerable enough to own your truth.
I know this is challenging at the best of times, so below are my 3 top tips to help you to do this:
1) Get Clear About What You Want
You can’t be honest with your date until you’re first honest with yourself about what you really want.
So, take a piece of paper and write down what type of relationship you’re looking for - for example, do you want to get married and have kids? Travel the world together in the next few years? Be exclusive as a couple, or be open to dating other people?
The clearer you are about what you’re looking for, the easier it will be to communicate this to prospective partners further down the line.
2) Affirm Your Desires
Another reason it’s so difficult to be honest with our dates about what we want is that we don’t really believe we deserve it.
This is why it’s so important to get in to the practice of using positive affirmations.
Affirmations help us believe in the potential of what we desire to manifest, as when we verbally affirm what we want, we are instantly empowered with a deep sense of reassurance that our dreams can become a reality.
The most powerful affirmations that you can make are positive statements about how you want your relationship to feel, framed in the present tense (and with gratitude) so that you experience the feeling of already having these things, instead of merely wanting them.
I am grateful that I’m in a soulful, committed relationship in which it feels easy and natural to be myself.
Using this framework as a starting point, write down a list of all the qualities you’ve identified in the previous exercise, and read the list out loud every morning and before bed.
When the time comes to express these desires on a date, it will feel significantly less frightening because you’ll be owning your desires, rather than trying to hide them out of fear, insecurity or self-doubt.
3) Share Your Truth
In the past, when a guy I was dating told me he wasn’t looking for anything serious, I’d often hide my disappointment and pretend I was just up for “a bit of fun”, too.
Please don’t make the same mistake I did, because you’re only kidding yourself at the end of the day; you can’t blame them for ghosting or flaking out on you if you weren’t honest with them in the first place.
Now, just to be clear, I’m not suggesting you ram your dating goals down the throat of every guy or girl you meet for a drink.
What I am encouraging you to do is share your truth with your date in a calm, mature, non-pressurising way when your conversation organically steers in that direction (and it will at some point– usually round about the time you ask each other when your last relationship was).
Whatever their response, you can’t lose:
Either they’ll want the same things you do, in which case you can keep on dating and see where it leads.
Or, if they don’t want those things (or aren’t ready), you’ll have given them the opportunity to step back before you get too emotionally attached, creating space for someone more compatible to show up in your life when the time is right.
I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU:
Have you ever had difficulty telling the person you’re dating what you’re really looking for in terms of a relationship or commitment?
What do you think you would have to gain by being honest with potential partners right from the outset?
All the love,