We’ve been talking about the need to fortify your psyche before dating. Dating is rough and everyone’s playing chicken, pretending they don’t care. It’s not easy, but there’s a few things you can do to get ready for the rough ride ahead. Dating Teflon, if you will.
Self love is the basis of this Teflon dating mixture
Last week, I explained that I see self love as self-mothering. Defending, encouraging, scolding, holding interventions LOL.
Sometimes you’ll be mad with yourself. Or disappointed or frustrated. But just like when you love your child, you can be angry, exasperated or dismayed at your own behavior, but still have love for you.
You know how when we’re at the receiving end of this behavior we might stay clear of the person till we cool down? If we’re the offender, a scolding followed by forgiveness is the only option. We’ve got to live with ourselves, ya know.
“I am already whole” is the mindset of this Teflon.
Who doesn’t love a good love song? I know the lyrics to dozens! I’m always singing backup in my car:
I’d die without you…there’s no me without you…you complete me…
But hold up! I don’t care what those inspiring, soothing love songs say, you are already whole. You are already complete.
Lonely, maybe, but whole. A man can only complement, not complete you.
Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t have need for a man in your life. The “I don’t need a man!” vibe will put guys off because, hey, everyone wants to feel needed.
I’m only warning against viewing yourself as half a person waiting around for your other half to slot itself into place.
If you do, it’s going to take more than what a guy can offer to make you whole. Your neediness may drain the lifeblood out of any relationship you may have.
It’s human to crave the love of another but if you think your social media profile picture has to look like this:
and something’s missing when it looks like this:
Then you’re on dangerous and shaky ground and are liable to attach yourself too strongly or too long to Mr. Wrongs in your life.
You know how we say money doesn’t make the person? Your relationship doesn’t either.Click To Tweet
Your value is your value, no matter who you’re with. No one can diminish or boost it except you.
This explains why I am not a fan of displaying relationship status on social media. It can be exhausting trying to convince yourself and others how amazing things are all the time and why should you? Most relationships won’t last forever and that’s the painful fact of the matter.
A Life of your Own
Haha, you knew this was coming, right? You’ve probably heard this before, but that’s because it’s super-necessary.
Sharing your life with someone means you should have one in place before they appear on the scene. Your life doesn’t start when you meet the “guy of your dreams”-it is here and it is now. Relationship experts say it is unrealistic to expect one’s partner to be one’s source of happiness in life. One relationship-even a marriage-cannot take the place of a rich, full life.
And think about what you have to bring to the relationship table. This is the time to work on building financial independence and making sure you’ve got basic life skills on point.
That means ensuring you have (and wear) clean clothes, don’t have to run out for every meal and can keep your living space tidy. We all hate housekeeping, but it’s a life skill that you benefit from forever, or till the day you can hire someone to do it for you.
Invest in yourself by doing things that add value to yourself, meaning to your life and help sculpt you into the person you want to be. Appreciate the many non-romantic sources of love that exist in your world. Get a life & get out of the house. Explore your passions and interests. Learn something. Find ways to use your gifts and talents to make money, to help others, or just for fun. Donating time in service to others reinforces what’s good in you and provides purpose. Be a mentor to someone and make an impact in the world. Get involved in a hobby, a sport, travel or dance. Take care of your body and your health and find a safe way to release stress and center yourself.
Important: This rich, full life you’re building for yourself should include a solid support circle of quality people. You need trusted confidantes and mentors you can learn from and who support you. Life is easier with buddies walking (or who have walked) the same road, cheering each other on, helping each other out.
Equally important: don’t abandon your life once you’re in a relationship!
New relationships come with a tantalizing excitement that has a magnetic pull. This Rich, Full Life you’ve built for yourself is not to be dropped like a hot potato once you become involved with someone! I call that “Cornerstoning”. It’s common but not the healthiest thing for your relationship. Cornerstoning on your part also can make it harder for you to tell if his feelings for you are deepening and progressing. You need to see if he takes the opportunities to meet you halfway and he can’t do that if there’s no space between you in the first place.
Check Your Baggage
We ALL have things from our past that influence our behavior. But when those things negatively impact our relationships that it becomes baggage.
It’s fine to think about your ex sometimes-he was a part of your life-but if you find that angry or bitter thoughts of him keep bubbling up, you’re not ready to date yet! This is your time to heal and take care of you. I know we’re making dating Teflon, but it’s only meant to be a protective layer-not an impenetrable shield!
How you see yourself is key. If you see yourself as a victim or damaged goods, others will too because that’s the aura you give off. We can also sabotage relationships with our attitudes because deep down we think we’re not worthy or because we are reluctant to become vulnerable to others. It could be from unconsciously adopting the flawed mindsets of our parents, or perhaps the scar tissue left by past heartbreak.
It’s worth it to spend a little time soul-searching for the issues, insecurities and hang ups that separate you from happiness with yourself. It’s actually one of the greatest, most rewarding investments you can make in yourself for your present and your future!
So let’s recap:
Love/accept yourself warts and all.
Work to heal yourself mentally and let the past go while building a full rich life for yourself,
This makes you happier, hopeful and more confident. Maybe ready to try new things. You now emit a positive vibe and have the confidence and optimism to put yourself out there in a purposeful way (make yourself vulnerable). Your confidence makes it less likely you’ll entertain those who don’t value what you bring to the table. It’s a virtuous circle!
What do you think is the best mindset to approach modern dating? Share your thoughts!