After years of, on some strange level, enjoying narrating the weird/ awful/ spiteful/ chaotic messes I’d managed to get myself into, I decided that life was quite dramatic enough – by itself – without adding a dodgy boyfriend into the mix. If you’ve watched my TED talk you’ll know where I’m coming from.
I don’t know whether its too many episodes of the Kardashians, or a general brain washing of we can never be together! style romantic movies; but as your dating coach I am on a mini-crusade to encourage you to ditch the dating drama once and for all.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I do understand how this all happens. There are few things that can make people feel so vulnerable and exposed (especially after a few bad experiences) than meeting someone you might actually like. After some nice dates of unexpected closeness and a sparky kiss your mind starts to wander to IF this could be different.
You communicate to your close friends and give them a WhatsApp blow-by-blow of events, you check out their Instagram, you become sensitive to the subtle changes in their communication. They say something that would be innocuous if it was coming from one of your friends, but from them it feels like a lead ball in your stomach. You want to be sure they like you, so you push them back, waiting for them to step forwards and prove themselves.
That happy warm feeling you had is replaced with a sunken sense of dread as you stare at your inbox unable to concentrate.
Do you notice that when you date someone you like that you get caught up too easily in them? That you become very sensitive? That your point of focus shifts from your loyal friends, cool career and hobbies, straight onto them? Let me tell you this straight – it’s not worth it. What is worth it are all the things that bring you happiness and stability regardless of what’s going on in your love life. At the risk of sounding like your mum, you need to ditch the dating drama because if you’re going to go to all the effort of creating space in your life for a relationship it should be something that brings you comfort, stability and care.
From all the people I help as a dating coach of course I understand that part of the elusive dating process is kissing a lot of frogs. And I have no doubt that you have met some seriously strange people BUT seeing as we can’t hope to change them let’s bring it back to you and think of how you can rise above the dating drama.
1. Pace the relationship – it is really hard to tell who is ‘good for you’ in those early dating stages as it takes time to get to know a person. Often the slow burn person can turn out to be great, and the feet sweeper to be a real asshole; so with this in mind I’d go for one date a week for the first month or two and give yourself time to get to know someone.
2. Don’t over communicate about them – I know it’s super exciting when you meet someone you’re attracted to but don’t let them automatically dominate 5 chat threads simultaneously. This is kind of like a bad Hollywood movie where the only dialogue women have together is about the guy they’re dating. Bump this news down the priority list.
3. Don’t creep on them online. I know it’s very tempting to see what time they last checked WhatsApp or to rifle through the depths of their Instagram but this will only make you feel bad. The temptation here is to piece together information about them rather than getting to experience them and how they treat you in real life.
4. They are not going to be perfect. Nobody is. They also don’t know you and what you like, and they might well not be sure what they’re looking for. This is all okay. Work from the mental start point that how much they offer you and their actions are more of a reflection of where they are in their life right now – not of you. It’s your job to then take some time figuring out whether you guys fit together or not.
5. If it’s on and off like a light switch – maybe just leave it off. If you’ve been dating for a short time and things are already getting a little cray-cray I’d advise to walk away. (And p.s. don’t follow this by walking back again!) If you can’t decide what you are, accusations fly around, they are turning up on your doorstep to ‘save the relationship’ – and you’ve known them 8 weeks… forget it.
You don’t need to solve it, or save it, or fix it. You need to get a mega reality check that even if you 100% believe it’s all their fault you are allowing this to throw a wrecking ball through your social life, work focus, sleep and your ability to find something better. It can be pretty tough to admit that you have ‘co-created’ the situation; to be frank it’s usually a lot easier to just sustain the belief that the other person is an asshole. However, if you can take that slice of responsibility you can also create change. You can decide to do things differently, ditch the dating drama, and maybe also be happier.
If you want to feel confident, strong and secure to tackle modern dating I would really like to work with you – head to my coaching page and one of my team can give you a complimentary call back.