Don’t Fall Victim to these 6 Dating Traps
In the thirteen years I’ve been coaching, I’ve read almost everything there is to read about how to find The One. Much of that information drives me crazy. Every day my inbox is filled with emails from so-called experts that talk about all the games and strategies women are supposed to play in order to attract a man—don’t be too available, don’t initiate, don’t return his calls, don’t be over eager… The list goes on and on. If I had read this material when I was dating, I don’t know if I ever would have gone out on a single date! If I had tried to play the games these “authorities” suggest I would have found it impossible to be myself.
When I was dating, I was studying for a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology. I was also involved in a number of other spiritually based programs. I saw the dating process as an extension of my spiritual journey. I rarely pondered the differences between men and women or thought about scoring a big ring. Instead, I viewed every date as a chance to learn how to let down my guard and become more open and vulnerable with men so the kind of man I wanted to attract would find me attractive.
At first glance, some of what I’ve written below might not sound all that different from what you’ve read elsewhere, but read it carefully. Most of what I am saying isn’t about what to do or not do on a date; it has to do with the mindset you have while dating. We create what we focus on. So, it is important to set the right intentions for yourself as you date. If what you’re focusing on is getting a big ring, that’s what you’ll attract. If you focus on finding a passionate, unconditionally loving relationship, that’s what you will attract. I am not saying you can’t have both, but you need to be clear about your intentions. You need to be honest with yourself about what you’re seeking and why you’re seeking it or you just might wind up with a chunk of ice on your finger and a hole in your heart. My suggestion is this: focus on attracting unconditional love and everything else will fall into place!
#1: If you just go out on enough dates, you will eventually meet the right person
If you’ve got issues and baggage that you haven’t dealt with, it’s not going to bring you any closer to the kind of relationship you’re truly looking for. The real goal with dating is to keep evolving; it’s not about repeating the same thing over and over again expecting different results, but coming back from each date and being honest with yourself. I encourage my clients to ask themselves questions after each date, such as “What did I learn about myself?” “What did I learn about dating?” “How can I start opening up with my dates and become more emotionally naked and vulnerable?” Use the dating process as an opportunity to grow and evolve, so that when you do meet the right person you’ll be ready.
#2: A man will lose respect for a woman if she sleeps with him right away
Many men say that, if they’re really into a woman, they don’t care how soon they have sex. The real reason not to sleep together early on is because sex gets in the way of building emotional intimacy, and this is the most important part of any relationship. Most people don’t know how to open up and be vulnerable with someone they are attracted to. They are afraid that, if someone they’re dating sees something he or she doesn’t like, the person will leave. So, they have sex instead. I encourage both men and women to wait to have sex so that they can learn how to get emotionally naked first. Vulnerability is what will lead to deeper intimacy and ultimately keep two people together in the long run. It will also lead to better and more connected sex.
#3: Let the man be the man
Men aren’t from Mars and women aren’t from Venus. We’re both from planet Earth. We actually want the same things; we just go about getting our needs met differently. We both want safety, trust, good communication, compassion (and passion), and empathy. When I was dating, I was never burdened by concerns about whether I was being “feminine enough” or “letting the man be the man.” The question I always asked myself was, “Is my behavior attractive?” Was I being anxious, overbearing, controlling, self absorbed…? These behaviors are unattractive, and they have nothing to do with being a man or a woman. It is important to note that the answers men and women get when they ask the question, “Is this attractive behavior?” will be different. What a man will feel is attractive (or unattractive) behavior for him and what a woman thinks is attractive behavior for her are not the same. As they keep exploring this question, their natural feminine or masculine tendencies will start to emerge.
#4: To attract an alpha male you have to be a passive female
There is an endless stream of information telling women that the way to make men feel feel empowered is to stop being strong and assertive and start being passive and submissive. The problem is that women are no longer stuck in the house raising babies. They are taking over universities and, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 40 percent of working wives currently out-earn their husbands. Even if a woman wants to take a more passive role, it’s getting harder and harder to do so. When a woman is in charge of an entire team of people at work, its ludicrous to think that she should have to sit around and wait for a man to make the first move. That’s exactly what Whitney Wolfe thought when she invented Bumble, the first dating APP where single women initiate contact with single men. There is a difference between being a strong and independent woman and being controlling or domineering. A truly confidant man will find a strong, capable woman attractive. He won’t try to clip her wings or hold her back so that he can feel like the dominant one in the relationship. He also won’t mind when the check comes for dinner and she says, “This one’s on me!”
#5: There are rules for dating
There are no rules for dating and there is no one size fits all strategy. Some people are not assertive and they have to learn how to be more so, some people are very aggressive and they need to learn to tone it down. As you embark on this quest to find unconditional love it’s all about finding out what works for you and focusing on the change you need to make to be a better person—and, eventually, a better partner. My advice for one client might be very different than my advice to another. What I’m trying to do is get people in touch with their own personal truths and help them start living authentically from that place so they can attract the kind of partner who is right for them. The truth is that you can’t live by someone else’s rules in life or in dating. You have to learn to trust and follow your own heart.
#6: Dating is about getting someone to commit
The focus of dating should not be on getting a ring or getting someone to commit. Yes, eventually you want to get into a committed relationship, but first you need to get to know someone and see if you’re a good match. People today have instant gratification syndrome. They want everything, NOW! But it doesn’t work that way. There is no fast track when it comes to relationships. Slow is fast. I truly believe dating is an exercise in learning how to let go and not take things so personally. It’s about learning to accept other people, letting go of your judgments, blocks, and barriers, and becoming a more open, loving person. Take it from me—I went on almost 100 first dates before I met the love of my life. Patience truly is a virtue! As you become a more open, loving person, you will attract the love you want. In the meantime, stop focusing on the outcome and start using the dating process as an opportunity to grow.
Are you struggling with dating and need advice? Book a consultation and see how I can help!