• paulinethepsychologist

Dating, Dating ... Read all About It!

How do you make dating less horrific and more terrific? This blog series is devoted to the topic that my clients love to hate to love again to hate again.

I was eager to write about break-ups and then thought, why don’t we work up to that?

Dating … GULP.

Few topics can spark the kind of nerve-racking, vomit-inducing excitement that dating can.

This is such a hot topic with my clients – clients who excel at the world of work and friends and family and life alone, and then find themselves in emotional tornadoes knows when it comes to matters of the heart with dating.

So here is a series of blogs devoted to supporting you through the dating process.

I want to start by saying that dating is an act of courage. Why? Let me break it down.

It takes courage to:

· Want: To search within yourself and acknowledge that you are open to connection and want to invite that into your life.

· Ask: To not just acknowledge a longing, but to also move forward in action to say “yes” and to ask for what it is that would make you feel good

· Reveal: To “put yourself out there” which requires a certain level of vulnerability and authenticity

· Decide: To determine what and who is right and isn’t and to evaluate what did and didn’t work for you.

Less and less, people are meeting one another in happenstance ways. More and more, intentional effort is being put together “being on an app” or making the decision to enter into the dating world. While this may feel empowering, I have seen how this is causing additional stress that wasn’t previously a part of the dating experience.

When my clients talk about dating, they mostly talk about how the stress element.

They see dating as this gauntlet that they have to train themselves for, throw themselves into, try to survive, and then crawl desperately toward the exit sign beaten, tattered, and swearing dating off … again.

They discuss the work that goes into it all - from choosing an app, to creating a profile, to swiping and matching, to small-talking, to trying to meet someone in-person, to tolerating all sorts of first date adventures, to getting to know someone while you’re both talking to a bunch of other people, to figuring out how you feel, to getting ghosted and wondering what went wrong and whether you even liked them or are just upset that they didn’t like you?

A friend of mine once said, when you first meet someone, you’re basically meeting their representative for the first few months.

This highlights how much impression management can go into all of it, making it harder to get to know someone honestly and be yourself fully.

And don’t get me started with talking about how all of this changed/became a million times harder because of covid!

Clients ask me again and again, is there another way?

My answer is a resounding YES!

You can do dating YOUR way. It can be natural, genuine, not super stressful, and dare I say … even ENJOYABLE.

Don’t believe me?

In the next few blogs, I will detail a few ways to have dating being a soulFULL experience which means that it can add value to rather than shave years off your life.

I will round out this dating series with some guidance for savoring wherever you are in the process which actually also doubles as a way to handle rejection – a common issue that clients seek support around.

Happy dating!

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