Dating and relationships have become more confusing for women than ever before. Should I date online? When is it okay to text him back? When do we have the “talk”? Is it too soon to sleep with him? Why did he ‘ghost’ me?
There are so many doubts and questions of “right versus wrong”, ruminating through the minds of women while dating, that it sometimes engenders what I call, ‘dating paralysis’ — when the confusion, frustration, and fear of dating and getting hurt, immobilizes one to date.
Dating, as we’ve known it today, has focused largely on an old narrative — that it is the ultimate path and pursuit of finding the one rather than the practice and preparation of becoming the one. This old paradigm shifts the responsibility of our peace, happiness, and wholeness onto someone outside of us, rather than on our creating it within ourselves.
‘Conscious Dating’, a revolutionary idea around dating, completely shifts the narrative and mindset of dating to seeking and cultivating the greatest love of all — the relationship with Self. Through this approach, women discover their authentic selves, their greatest needs and desires, they learn how to breakthrough old patterns of fear and self-doubt, to fill their own emotional voids – thereby experiencing more joy and fulfillment, and how to build greater confidence and self-acceptance. Women learn the importance of liking and loving themselves, first, before expecting someone else to or completely assigning the role to someone other than ourselves. If we don’t like us, how can we expect anyone elseto like us?
In ‘Conscious Dating’, the dating arena is the academic classroom — the platform to learn, study, grow and ultimately prepare us for partnership. Maybe we make foibles, which are imperative to our growth and self-knowledge, but the willingness to get back up and try again is the key. Dating is the time that we give ourselves permission to reach, test, and grow outside of our comfort zone. And where we practice non-judgment.
Here are just a few principles of ‘Conscious Dating’:
Date for learning:
Relationships and connections serve as our mirrors— opportunities for us to see within ourselves, whether we like what we see or not. How are your fears and emotional triggers showing up? How do you dictate to others on how to treat you? Just as we train and prepare for our ideal job and career, we too can practice and prepare for our ideal love relationships.
There’s no such thing as a bad date:
Even if the date is awful (assuming there is no physical or emotional harm), you can still learn something new. A person we meet for one hour could have a bigger impact on our lives than someone we’ve known for 10 years. Every relationship has a season and a purpose, so whether it’s one date or 6 months, we can focus on what we’ve learned.
Date out of love, not fear:
Out the gate, many people lead their dating experiences from a place of fear — fear of being alone, fear of unfilled emotional voids, fear of not being good enough, fear of commitment, fear of being “found out”, fear of rejection, fear of judgment, fear of abandonment or betrayal, fear of success, fear of vulnerability, and fear of oneself. No wonder so many relationships fail. What if instead, we considered dating with a gentler approach? Noticing our fears, without judgment and criticism, but leading with love. Practicing principles of self-compassion, kindness, patience, self-forgiveness, building on our self-worth, and tapping into our inner-cheerleader with positive self-talk.
Date in the present moment:
No matter your past dating experiences, focus on where you are now. If you’ve made bad choices in the past, work on forgiving yourself. When we know better we do better. Lamenting over the past, on our old hurts and relationships, keeps us from fully loving and accepting ourselves and from fully showing up to what’s in front of us. Release and let go. Simultaneously, we cannot place our thoughts too heavily onto the future. We cannot be fully present on the first date and at the wedding and the naming of the children at the same time. Miracles happen in the present moment.
Date yourself and have fun:
Dating can feel like a lot of work — a full-time job, but not if we approach it with fun and lightness. What if we didn’t take it so seriously, but made enjoyment, great conversation, and learning our priority? What if we focused on dating ourselves — treating ourselves how we want to be treated. Such that, whatever you desire your partner to give to you — romantic dinners, travel, poetry and love letters, trinkets and baubles — you give it to yourself. Want to be romanced by your partner? Then romance yourself. Want intimacy? Then be intimate (willing to self-examine) with yourself. Be your own best friend and romantic partner.
To learn more about Angela and the Conscious Dating Course and Group Coaching Program visit www.lovesanctuary.com