Talking about your feelings is no easy feat. Doing so means putting yourself in a vulnerable situation that you don’t necessarily want to be in – but which you will ultimately benefit from.
There are many reasons why people won’t share what is going on. As a general idea, I believe, it’s difficult to know exactly how one feels. I don’t want to overanalyze the person, nor do I expect them to do the same with me – especially early on in the dating process. There are too many unknowns that only get discovered through investing time and energy in getting to know someone.
At this moment, I’m not going to share ideas on how to have a conversation regarding the unknowns (this requires a longer email).
For now, I’d like to share with you some reflections I’ve gathered, over the many years of dating, from books and coaches that could help you deal with the process of dating and relating to people.
There are people out there that don’t know how to love and that’s not your fault or your problem. The reality about dating is, it’s not about having a series of amazing wonderful romances and eventually you find the one who’s right. It’s usually about going through hell with dating different/bizarre/odd people, maybe even people who lie and truthfully a lot of great partners who just aren’t right for you (for whatever reason).
True love and partnership is not the reward of a perfect woman or man. True love in partnership is what you get when you have the courage to do battle on the dating field, to survive loads of heart break, loads of people who just aren’t right or treat you very well. Getting the kind of love you truly want is when you are willing to keep your focus over and over again on what’s worthy about you, what is beautiful about you, the gifts that you have to share as a partner. You keep the focus on your worthiness and the good high quality partners that are out there.
Pay attention to the principles of a functioning relationship that you can detect early on:
- Security: we protect each other, keep each other safe even if we don’t know each other
- Sensitivity: aware & responsive to each other’s needs
- Fairness/justice: we quickly repair any hurts that occur in their new relationship
- Collaboration: we are in this together, joint exploration, help one another learn about each other
- Mutuality: what is good for me, is good for you
Sometimes people walk away from love because it is so beautiful that it terrifies them. Sometimes they leave because the connection shines a bright light on their dark places and they are not ready to work them through. Sometimes they run away because they are not developmentally prepared to merge with another- they have more individuation work to do first. Sometimes they take off because love is not a priority in their lives- they have another path and purpose to walk first. Sometimes they end it because they prefer a relationship that is more practical than conscious, one that does not threaten the ways that they organize reality. Because so many of us carry shame, we have a tendency to personalize love’s leavings, triggered by the rejection and feelings of abandonment. But this is not always true. Sometimes it has nothing to do with us. Sometimes the one who leaves is just not ready to hold it safe. Sometimes they know something we don’t- they know their limits at that moment in time. Real love is no easy path- readiness is everything. May we grieve loss without personalizing it. May we learn to love ourselves in the absence of the lover.
I hope these thoughts can help you navigate your dating dilemmas so that you remain hopeful as you continue to develop your confidence within dating and relating with men or women.
Much love to you all!
PS: Book resources:
Wired for Dating by Stan Tatkin – Part 2
Uncommon Bond by Jeff Brown – Part 3
Unknown – Part 1