Stop Overreacting and Pushing Men Away
I want to share four actions you can take to stop your reactivity from spiraling out of control and sabotaging your dating.
We all know dating can bring up our deepest, darkest insecurities, whether we like it or not. Looking for love triggers trust issues, abandonment issues, and feelings of inadequacy. Can’t these things just lay dormant and stay dormant? Nope. It’s almost as if dating was designed to push our buttons and expose our weaknesses.
All women have expectations about the kinds of behaviors we would like to see from men. If they could get the memo and stop doing this stuff, dating would be so much easier, right? Like if they would put some thought into planning a date. If they would confirm with us the day before. If they would be chivalrous and pay for dinner it would make things SO much easier. It’s so obvious to us. Why don’t they just get it?
Well, the truth is that men and women are different. Very different. Not only that, every person is different. We were all raised in different families with different belief systems. Each of us have our own rules about what’s acceptable and unacceptable to us. What's right for me might be wrong for you.
Since none of us are operating with the same set of rules, it seems inevitable that men will disappoint us. When this happens, you are going to get upset. When you take their behavior personally — which you will — dating becomes difficult. When men disappoint us, we can spiral into hopelessness and helplessness. We start to feel unworthy and like there's something wrong with us. And it becomes harder and harder to date.
Let's say that you are communicating with a guy that you like a lot. You've spent several hours talking to him on the phone and he seems so promising. You set a date, and not only does he not keep the date, but he doesn't even write to you to let you know that he's not going to show. You are pissed. Really pissed. Suddenly, you've gone from thinking, "Man, this guy's a jerk. I can't believe this happened!” to “All men are jerks. This is what they all do. I’m never going to meet somebody!”
So, if there’s no way to go through the dating experience without getting triggered or upset, what’s a woman to do? Before you decide that the entire male population sucks, here are four things to consider before giving up or giving him a piece of your mind.
Everything starts with a breath. Before you react, pause and take a breath. This will ground you and put you back in your body.
Think about the totality of the relationship and not just that one moment in time. If you just started communicating with this person, the two of you might not have a huge history. Still, it isn't fair to judge someone by the worst thing they've done. We're all human and we make mistakes. Sometimes we get so hurt that it's easy to only focus on the negative. So, go back to some of the positive things that transpired between you. And remember that there was a real connection. You felt it. You know he felt it. Maybe he had a change of heart. Maybe his life circumstances changed. But that connection was real. It was not your imagination.
Wait until you can find even one humorous thing about the situation. Try to remember something good that transpired between the two of you. You might say, ”Oh well. I got ghosted. Everybody gets ghosted. Whatever." But find something that you can laugh about, like, "Oh well. His loss. I am so fabulous. He's going to regret this, but, whatever." Anything that allows you to just step back and have a little bit of levity, a little bit of humor about the situation.
Ask yourself, "Will my words bring us closer together or further apart?" You might decide to reach out and tell this guy how you feel. I urge my clients to speak up. It's not good to leave things open-ended. I want my clients to close the loop so they don’t keep spinning out and losing energy over a situation. When you get hurt and you don’t feel that you can say something, those feelings can accumulate and drag you down. Or, you can use these opportunities to practice setting boundaries and speaking up for yourself.
When my clients message a ghoster, they get some amazing responses back. They really do. Even if they don't want to see him again, nine times out of ten they get a response and walk away feeling better.
So you need to ask yourself, "Will my words bring us closer together or further apart?" If you're going to lash out and say, "I can't believe you did that. What a jerk. Goodbye and good riddance," you might as well not send that message. You may feel better at the moment, but it's not going to bring you to higher ground.
It would be better to say, "Hey, I thought that we were connecting. I felt sad when you didn't let me know that we weren't getting together on Friday. I had been looking forward to that. Clearly, we're not a match, but I wish you all the best in your search." There you go. That's a lovely response. It allows you to exit the situation with a certain amount of dignity. Not only that, you aren't left thinking, "Wow, there's another guy that walked all over me and didn't care about me and my feelings."
So the four things, let's go over them again. Take a breath. Remind yourself everything starts with a breath. Then, think about the totality of the relationship and not just that moment in time. Wait until you can think of the tiniest thing that's humorous or positive about the situation. And then, before you write to this person, ask yourself, "Will my words bring us closer together or further apart?” Easy peasy, right?
If you’d like to know more about how to take the pain, confusion and wasted time out of your soulmate search, click here to watch my webinar.
You can also set up a complimentary breakthrough call and I will personally tell you how my method can work for you.
There’s no such thing as dating insurance, but if you’re ready to stop getting injured, I’m the next best thing.
Don’t wait around for chance. Together we can make it happen.