Are you having trouble taking the first step when it comes to dating? Or, do you take a few steps and want to run for cover? You may be living your worst nightmare in your imagination. You’re not alone. Many people find that they get stuck in the fear of what might happen.
“I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”
If you are often finding dating to be as scary as it is exciting, it’s no wonder that you are hesitant to step out.
How do you know you’re fears are getting the best of you?
If you find that you are in a double-bind, you’re probably in your own way. You may really want to meet your love but you find it extremely difficult to move forward. Some of this may be due to being out of practice with dating but often there are other factors influencing you.
Here are some specific examples of how you might be stuck.
You may have had a lot of opportunities to date but haven’t been on a date in months or years. Nothing clicked at all.
Or, you’ve had no opportunities at all.
You think you’re too old, or set in your ways for love so you don’t try.
Maybe you’re waiting to drop those last few pounds before you even dare to think about dating.
You believe you just can’t flirt or be interesting enough to attract someone.
You may be dating but have had a pattern of dating unavailable people. On the outside it will look like you give a lot, want real intimacy and it’s always the other person who is holding back. You get little in return.
You also might have opportunities that you’re not seeing because you do not see yourself as warranting attraction. Many men and women are oblivious to flirting that comes from others. You do not even realize that someone is sending you signals that they are interested. Or you don’t believe it, and think you’re in fantasyland.
You might have difficulty connecting with others that out pictures as a lack of common ground. (Note, I’m talking about a pattern of cutting people/options off too early. Discernment is essential but it shouldn’t be mistaken for putting up walls.)
You may also be too open and let too much in, without discernment. You have trouble saying no because you want to be a “nice” person. Just the thought of having to set boundaries is frightening. You may also flip back and forth between letting too much in or nothing at all.
You may give yourself away too early, financially or sexually, and think that everyone is out to “take” something from you.
You may come across as playing “hard to get” to the extent that the other party doesn’t even realize you want them to “get” you.
None of these fears are really your fault. Some are based on conclusions from past experiences, often from when you were very small and couldn’t even speak. Many are part of a collective belief that you unwittingly accepted without question.
You know this. You want love but are afraid that you will get hurt in the process. Shutting it out won’t work either. You know that you will not be happy with a life without love. Living life fully requires a willingness to be vulnerable. This is what Mark Twain is talking about below.
“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”
The truth is that there is a greater part of you that is eternal and is always operating for you. This is the part of you that knows there is nothing to fear. It also knows that you have more to lose from not going for what you want than you do from a misstep here or there.
Here are a few ideas that might help you move past some of the fear.
- Rejection – It hurts but you will get over it more quickly if you see it for what it is, divine protection. You call it rejection when someone doesn’t want to date you. It is seen as discernment or recognition of a poor fit when you do not want to date the other person. The idea isn’t real. When something doesn’t work out, you and the other person are being kept safe and are freed up to have the real deal.
- Release Your Agenda – Resist the temptation to cry soulmate or to push for what you want, whether it’s sex or commitment, in the early stages of dating. Allow yourself the time for the relationship to prove itself to be real.
- Change your Focus – If it seems everyone around you is dating, getting married, or having babies, accept this as evidence that you get yours too. You wouldn’t be noticing it if it weren’t in your ability to have it. Even having several dating experiences that did not work out is evidence that you are open to love. This is dating what dating is about. If you are looking for your love, you will stop looking once you have them, right?
- Honor Yourself— If you’ve had a tendency to give too much away and have found yourself in a pattern of relationships that are out of balance, hold back a bit until you see genuine interest on the part of the other person.
- Your Love is a Given– This is often a biggie. You may have been brought up with the idea that you don’t get to have everything you want but you get what you need. Well, love is a basic need for everyone. No one is exempt. The Presence that created that desire in you is most certainly wanting you to be a success. It has not only given you the desire, It is already at work bringing you two together. What you don’t know is when or how. Time isn’t the issue. There is a coming together. It’s a journey. And you will look back on it as perfectly orchestrated for you to be able to receive each other. You have the choice to enjoy it or struggle. And, I’m here to tell you if you’re drawn to this material now, it’s your time to start enjoying it.
Often, just becoming aware your fears and being willing to open to a new perspective changes things in your favor. Usually though, it takes some conscious work on your part and the right type of support to break through these fears.
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