Updated: Jun 2, 2021
There is no scarcity in dating, as many of us believe. Dating is not hunting. Eventually, we manage to find someone to be in a couple with, being hungry for love and intimacy, settling for less.
How to relax into dating ?
How to find what you deserve and not settle for less ?
Let’s start with online dating because that is where it starts for the majority of people looking for love.
Nela has been single for a while. Her children grown up, busy with their hobbies and spending time with their friends. Sharing her time between her job, children, friends, and hobbies, she is rarely bored. She doesn’t mind being alone but decided that having a partner in her life again could be actually quite nice.
She picks up one of the most popular dating sites. Profile created, compatibility test passed, ready to meet love. 45 likes the first day, Nela feels flattered. Being over 40, that’s definitely a good sign.
Based on the profile pictures and the percentage of compatibility Nela starts writing to different potential partners being curious about them already feeling butterflies in her stomach. Getting enthusiastic about meeting them just crosses her mind to ask a key question: “Are you single? “
While dating online, there is a high chance your potential partners won’t be single and available to start a long-term love relationship.
Many people date online not to feel lonely while being still in a committed relationship. Very often, online dating is an escape at the moment of a couple's crisis. Very often is to check what is available outside, only willing to end a nonfunctional relationship as an exchange for the new one.
While there is not a set of rules for online dating it is clear people have different expectations. This has always been true for any sort of dating, but social control made it more difficult for people to commit somewhere else. Online dating is a big chance for people looking for an affair, unfortunately for those looking for an exclusive relationship online dating can be disappointing.
It could be quite challenging to manage the constant disappointment.
At the same time, according to an American study, 54% of the public says relationships where people first meet through a dating site or app are just as successful as those that begin in person. When it comes to statistics, people who have met and married or are in long-term relationships and met online, are more positive about the whole experience.
To increase the chance to meet someone the online dating is actually an efficient tool and is worth trying.
Online dating is a bit like shopping. There is so much choice that we tend to constantly look for someone better: searching, comparing, sorting out, picking up,... It can become an addiction in the same way. It is not unusual that people spend hours sending smiles, likes, messages getting enthusiastic and disappointed quickly.
The rejection rate in online dating is very high.
To deal with the rejection and disappointment you can learn to let go quickly.
The famous couple’s therapist Esther Perel says in her Youtube video called “Finding the One” that online dating can create a feeling of anxiety because of the number of choices we have today.
The best way to deal with the rejection and the underlying disappointment is to understand your online profile is just an online profile and the same for the other party. There is a big room for interpretation and judgment; the available information is very short and doesn't give the overall picture of yourself. It is not a matter of love, it is feedback on the information displayed on your profile.
Instead of judging, be curious about people you meet.
Online dating is the very first stage of the dating process, it is collecting contacts and reaching to other singles; it is just the beginning of getting to know each other. So relax, it is not hunting or competing with other single men or women for catching the right one. It is not a matter of engaging the feelings for each other.
At the same time, if someone doesn't come back to you doesn't mean there is something wrong with you, it can mean many different things that have nothing to do with you.
But, if your presence on the dating sites means being stressed, maybe you can consider different social groups around your interests; there are plenty of those for example on meetup. We definitely feel more confident and relaxed when it comes to something we understand, like, and enjoy doing.
Online dating is the very first stage of a relationship, it is gathering the contact, it might be seduction, dreaming, playing, discovering,... It is like meeting someone in person without knowing this will be your life partner. The important thing is to enjoy doing it in order to relax into it and be yourself.
If you don't enjoy online dating you might consider joining the social groups related to your hobbies, interests, passions. Even if you don't find a love life partner there you will most probably enjoy spending your time with the other group members, meet interesting and inspiring people, you might find new friends, learn and experience new things. And that's definitely worth it.
Instead of looking for a love life partner, go general, and look for meeting new people.
How do I know I have found the right person?
We don’t necessarily know we have found the right person, especially at the beginning. There is a feeling of attraction and there are values we are looking for in the other person. There is a way we connect, there is a way of managing a conflict, there is giving and receiving. That’s why the dating period is so important.
The dating period is about getting to know your partner.
And here comes the tricky part. We can only get to know someone if we know ourselves. No matter the age, how many of us really know how we feel, what our needs are, what values we look at in a relationship; what is our "must", and what we are ready to compromise on.
When I start working with my clients this is the starting point.
What do you look for?
Which values do I want to find in another person?
How do I want to feel with?
What do I want to do with that person?
What I am ready to share?
What do I expect professionally from my partner?
The list of what we are looking for is not only a simple list it is just quite a powerful tool. The point is when you look for the person with those values you already have to be that person.
“You have to be the person you are looking for. “
Let’s take the example of “esteem”.
I am looking for someone who would have esteem for me.
The question to ask here is: Do you have esteem for yourself?
The example of esteem is a very good example because esteem comes before love and it is very close to self-love. If you want your future partner to have esteem for you, then you have to have it for yourself first.
Feeling of love
I like the example of esteem and self-love because that is the part I work with my clients the most. Very often we have a certain feeling of love, love that feels familiar to us. But it is not necessarily the “feeling good” love.
Very often we were hurt in our childhood or later on in our relationships and we adapted to a situation in one way or another to overcome a fear of loneliness and abandonment. For example, to please our parents we learnt to do a lot of effort and achieve in order not to lose their love. By doing this, our nervous system gets used to the idea that love equals making constant efforts and pleasing, putting our needs aside.
While doing this we necessarily settle for less and get easily lost in a relationship. Being busy with family or career, it can last sometimes many years to realize how we feel in the relationship and what's in for us. And indeed, it is very difficult to find that "feels good" love as it is something unknown to us.
Helping my clients to find the love that feels good is something I offer within my coaching sessions and the results are quite impressive.
To get it right and find the love that feels good it is important to raise awareness about both:
knowing what you are looking for as well as knowing yourself;
understanding our perception of the feeling of love.
To conclude, I would like to emphasize that difficult sometimes it might seem to find the right partner, the very good news is that we can own the whole process by learning to do the two above things, deal with the deception and rejection, and finally, giving the real value to the different stages of love relationships.
I wish you all the love you deserve and have fun!