Since I receive a lot of mail about desperately wanting to find a mate, I've decided to do another column on desperation. This week's flavor of desperation is focused on a particular aspect of relationship hopelessness - seeking - trying to find or be found by someone. Next week, and part III of this series on desperation will be about keeping someone once you've got him or her.
Seeking a mate
playing the dating game
Are you afraid of getting hurt? Do you have a fear of intimacy? Not really emotionally available?
As I've said many times, "if you're not willing to risk being hurt then you'll never be able to love, because you're not willing to risk being loved." Get honest with yourself. Even though you're scared to death that you might get hurt, are you willing to risk having your heart crushed, stomped on, and broken, if there's even the remote possibility that you could find some modicum of happiness? It takes real courage to be willing to love, particularly if you have a history of failure in that department. Believe me I know. I failed a gazillion times. But all those mistakes weren't really mistakes. They were simply experiences to help me grow and get better at loving and being loved. You can look at all those so-called "loser" experiences as terrible mistakes and failures or you can look at them as opportunities that helped you become the person you are today. Experiences can help you become the person you desire to be. But only you can turn desire into reality and that requires a very special ingredient called risk.
It's difficult but not impossible to overcome fear of intimacy. You probably already have the desire, now you just need to learn the tools. Everyone says they want to get close until they begin to actually get close. Often, that's when the wall comes up - and usually it's greater than the Great Wall of China. When we really let someone into our life, that's when "all" our stuff comes up, especially all the stuff that we think is "so" horrible about ourselves. I hate to burst your bubble, but your stuff is usually not that bad. We all have skeletons in the closet. But, the funny thing is, that once you clean out your closets they are gone. The way to open the closet doors and get rid of that old stuff is to become vulnerable. Vulnerability is kind of like wearing an "as-is" tag around your neck. To become vulnerable, you have to simply accept yourself "as is." Once you are able to be okay with yourself (skeletons, warts and all), you can put down the welcome mat in front of the door to your heart and open it. Hint: that's how you attract a good guy or gal and start a real, honest, potentially long-lasting relationship.
If you're not emotionally available, then get out of the game and get some help so that you can become emotionally available. Deep down, you know whether or not you're really available for a relationship. It's not about dating a gazillion people and saying you can't find the right one. There are more than 80 million singles in America and many more millions worldwide and you can't find someone to love? Me thinks you protest too much.
You probably can't find someone because deep down you're afraid of relationship and the responsibility it entails. It is much easier to bitch about what you don't have, than to actually take responsibility for your own life and do something to make yourself happy. If you want a relationship, get off the fence. Do something about it. Learn how to become emotionally available. Let yourself become part of someone else's life and let someone into your life. Isn't your life rather lonely and unfulfilled? I know you have your friends, and friendships are extremely important in life, but there's nothing better in the world than sharing your life and love with a partner.
Here are some basic tools to help when desperation creeps into your dating:
- Set your dating intention. Then constantly check in with that intention and pay attention to your actions, circumstances and events around you. Ensure that your actions are in alignment with your intentions. If not, put them in alignment. Don't change your intention just because what you're doing isn't working. No! Change your actions to create the reality of seeking and finding a good mate.
- Know that if it's meant to work out, it will. As long as you are doing your part and putting out maximum effort, you are doing everything you can to allow love and relationship into your life. Don't be disappointed in the outcome, if it doesn't work out the way you "expected" it to. Instead, take a few minutes and feel bad, disappointed, angry, resentment or whatever you want to feel and then move on. Instead of staying at your pity party, go to a real party and have some fun.
- Don't be so invested in the outcome of every day. Stop focusing on the result. Focus on the process. By concentrating on your intention, you will begin to pay more attention to what you really want than what you currently have (this means that even if you feel desperate you won't stay in the feeling/mindset). You'll be in the flow and start attracting the one you want in your life. And then you will start to pay attention to the positive results in your life, not the negative "what isn't there." All the positive results will help shape a new belief system that will give you more dating confidence and reinforce your beliefs. Remember, you don't get what you want; you get what you believe you can have.
- Most of all, whatever happens in dating, don't take it personally. If you want validation, I suggest that you look inside yourself. No one will ever love you enough if you don't love yourself. And, when you do love yourself, you know what it's like to feel loved. Don't let the compliments stay in your head and don't let the criticisms stay in your heart.