Last week I met up with a friend to catch up over a couple of drinks.
As always, the topic of my dating life came up. Since we had last chatted there wasn’t anything new to share.
Interesting first dates that didn’t lead to second dates. Dates who were really interested and interesting who ended up ghosting . Chances to try new restaurants and bars in the city.
Really, it was just more of the same.
My friend said incredulously, “I don’t know what is wrong with them!” referring to the women I’d dated.
I appreciated the support but I was stuck by one fact.
Every single one these interactions had one thing in common.
It wasn’t the way I was treated. It wasn’t the fact that I felt undervalued or misunderstood.
And that one thing?
When doing any sort of analysis or problem solving one of the fundamental principles I use is: “Once is an anomaly. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is a pattern.”
When I look at my dating/relationship history honestly (or as honestly as any of us can do with self-reflection) I see lots of patterns: spending time with the wrong people, dating people with only a short term goal in mind, and not communicating clearly (as in not letting my ‘no’ mean ‘no’ and my ‘yes’ mean ‘yes’).
I don’t have control over the people who choose to go out with me, but I do control the type of people I seek, how I seek them, and how I act once I have connected with them.
Almost all of my recent dating experience has at least one of those things in common (most have more than one).
Things I Can Change
Because of this revelation I have decided that I need to spend some time daily tapping on my relationship fears. All of my unhelpful patterns can be traced back to my fears around being seen and being rejected.
Doing this work doesn’t mean that I will end up in a lasting love relationship, but it does mean that I am much less likely to continue making the choices standing in the way of that type of relationship.
This work is not about fault or claiming that we are the sole creator of everything we experience. Others have free will and their choices impact us.
This work IS about taking responsibility for ourselves and our role in creating our experience. It is about recognizing that we are present for all of our issues.
What this means for me is that I need to look clearly at my own experience, recognize the parts for which I am responsible, and take ownership of those parts.
If this is something you would like to do too, here are some tapping phrases to start you on the right path:
I recognize the fact that there are things in the world beyond my control…I recognize that there are things in the world that I DO control…And I recognize that I tend to believe I have much less control than I actually do…I am not the sole creator of my experience…I am co-creating my day and my life with everyone I interact with…I choose to take responsibility for the things that I do control…I can control my thoughts…I can control my emotions…I can control my actions…Often it is easier to let the world act on me and my life…It is easier just to react…Claiming that I don’t have control…Today I choose to take more responsibility for my own life…Today I choose to recognize that I am present in all my issues…Today I choose to recognize that I can make different choices…This doesn’t mean everything will change all at once…But by being more aware I am more likely to make better choices…Regardless of what choice I make next…I know I can learn from that choice as well.
I hope you find this point of view helpful.
I know it is changing the way I live day to day.