Dating is challenging. There’s no way around it. If you really put yourself out there and go for it, the dating process is guaranteed to bring up all kinds of uncomfortable feelings. If you don’t know how to navigate this rocky emotional terrain, there’s a good chance you might quit dating or even give up on your dream of finding love. To have the love you desire, you will eventually have to face your fears and look at what’s blocking you from letting love in.
Robert Frost once wrote: “The best way out is always through.” To this end, I created The Five Clarifying Questions. When I was dating, these questions helped me “get through” my negative feelings by showing me where they were they were coming from. In this way, I was able to stop reacting every time things didn’t go my way and stay out in the dating world long enough to find true love. How cool is that? Give it a try! The next time you feel like you just can’t take it anymore and you want to take your online dating profile down forever, ask yourself these five little questions and see if you can get clear about what’s really going on so that you can stay in the dating game and realize your dream. It worked for me!
Here’s how to do it:
First: Define the issue that has upset you and, then, ask yourself the following questions:
- What am I feeling?
- Why am I feeling this way?
- What’s real about what I’m feeling?
- What am I telling myself that is causing me to feel badly?
- What is the truth about each of these negative statements?
Example: I get lots of first dates but I can’t get to a second date.
1. What am I feeling?
I feel stuck, frustrated, sad, angry, disappointed, and unappreciated
2. Why am I feeling this way? (Write down your thoughts and feelings about what happened.)
Because I really am trying. I am putting myself out there, doing the best I can and it doesn’t feel fair. Sometimes it feels like everyone is in a relationship but me. I don’t understand why dating is so hard for me. I fel like I might never find someone. I don’t know what more I can do. I feel like I am on a hamster wheel, going round and round and round but getting nowhere
3. What is true about what I’m feeling? (Some of what you are feeling is justified. You want to separate what is genuinely true from all of your fear and negativity.)
- I am trying.
- I am doing the best I can.
- Dating genuinely feels hard to me.
4. What am I telling myself that is causing me to feel badly?
- This isn’t fair.
- Everyone is in a relationship but me
- I will never find someone.
- I don’t what more I can do.
- I am getting nowhere.
5. What is the truth about each of these negative statements?
- My experience isn’t fair or unfair; it just is.
- Everyone isn’t in a relationship. There are lots of other single people.
- If I keep opening my heart and getting emotionally naked, I can meet someone.
- There are plenty of things I can do to improve my dating. (Keep reading this blog, for one!)
- I might not have met my soul mate but dating is helping me grow as a person.
In the end, Naked Dating® isn’t just about getting emotionally naked with someone you’re dating. It starts with getting emotionally naked with yourself. If you don’t stop to acknowledge and understand your feelings, they can start to overwhelm you and eventually cause you to give up on dating and on your dream of finding a partner. This isn’t an easy process but it is worthwhile. The rewards far exceed the difficulties you might experience along the way. And the more you practice, the easier it gets!