Dating Requires Listening to Your Emotional Needs

“Because of the pervasive nature of the problem, our whole culture can be called codependent.  When one looks at the problem from a cultural perspective, it becomes obvious that major institutions in our society support codependent behavior. The social structure we have created may be actually dependent upon this behavior continuing.  Throughout modern history, most societies have been structured so that some groups are ranked above others, such as men over women and management over labor. With one group more powerful and in control of the resources, codependent relationships can be easily created and maintained. If people begin to change their codependent patterns, it will bring changes to the larger social structure.”     Barry and Janae Weinhold

1. From If You Want Kin, You Must Plant Kin: “I Won’t date…don’t ask me:

I met Tarik back in May when I was out dancing with some friends.  We danced, we tried to talk but the music was too loud, we exchanged numbers, I went home.

And then he called.  And then he called again.  And then he texted.  And then he asked me out.  And instead of my first thought being, “Oh, isn’t that nice? Tarik wants to get together,” my first thought was, “Oh Lord, a date?”

You’re right: that reaction didn’t bode well for Tarik.  I seem to have gotten to a place where I’m not all that interested in dating.  I’ll slog through a relationship, but I’ve lost the patience for the pre-game show.  I’ve done a fair amount of dating, but I don’t think I ever really learned how to do it.  I think you’re supposed to learn about it in high school, and I missed that class.

I’ve said goodbye to Tarik, but I’ve decided to “get back out there” in something that might vaguely resemble an active way … and this is going to mean going on dates.

What’s the problem with dating?  I like going out for coffee, out for dinner, out to the movies.  I like visiting museums and walking in the park.  I even like going to ball games … you know, sort of.  So what is it that I don’t like?  I think it’s the part where I have some guy there with me who I don’t know well and who expects me to make charming, sparkling conversation and show some level of interest in and attraction to him.

Yeah, that would be it.

2.  From Jessica Radloff’s survey: “What Guys Want you to Know (Part 1)”:

Q: What do you wish all women knew about guys?

“Not all guys only care about sleeping with you. But all guys will sleep with you immediately if given the chance. Fact.”
-Aaron K., 31, Los Angeles, Author & Comedian, single

“We are problem solvers. Do not tell us about a problem unless you want us to try and fix it.”
-Bob M., 31, Chicago, Attorney, in-a-relationship

“If we appear to be too good to be true, we usually are. We are more sensitive than you. We harbor more feelings than you care to know.”
-Buck W., 31, Detroit, Social Media Director/On Air CBS Radio, married

“What you call objectifying, we call admiring a superior physical form.”
-Matthew H., 32, Seattle, Senior Magazine Editor–Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, married and father of one

“Believe it or not, there are actually ‘good guys’ out there and we do not finish last. Go for your ‘bad boy’ type and see how that ends up for you. You know how it is going to end up but you still jump into the deep end of the pool because you think you can change him. Nine times out of 10 you are going to be banging your head against the wall. Avoid the pain and heartache and go for a guy that will treat a woman the way she deserves to be treated.”
-Michael M., 37, Los Angeles, Actor, married

“We are not as good as you (when it comes to) communicating and we do it differently than you. We know it can be frustrating, but you need to be patient with us and eventually we will open up and tell you what you want to know.”
-Tony B., 40, St. Louis, Financial Services, engaged

“We really are always thinking about it. Always.”
-Jason M., 29, St. Louis, Marketing, in-a-relationship

3.  From Jane Bolton’s Your Zesty Self: “Dating Anxieties: Facing the Unknown”:

“What can be done about the anxiety of receiving now?”

1. “Name the feelings. A big part of dealing with the fear that a desired person or relationship is “too good to be true” is just recognizing, and naming the anxieties, fears, worries, and doubts. The mere naming our feelings helps contain them.”

2. “Learn what thoughts and expectations you fill the space of the unknown with. Another step is to recognize that since dating is an exercise of dealing with the unknown, it is useful to come to know your patterns of dealing with the unknown.”

“Many people just project their fears into to the future, which by definition in unknown. So when you come across a situation in which you “don’t know” what will be there later, notice what you habitually fill in that space with. Are you filling that space of the with worry, doubt, and fear? That’s pretty common. But you don’t have to keep doing that.”

2. “Recognize that in fact you “really don’t know” the future. Another simple but profound way to practice quieting your anxiety is to add “but I really I don’t know” to every prediction of the future. Follow the thought “I can’t manage this,” “I need…,” or “I am…” with “but I really don’t know.” The phrase “But I really don’t know” challenges the seeming truth of everything we think. That phrase is another way of beginning to challenge the negative beliefs behind the anxiety.”

“Repeating the words “but I really don’t know” allows us to question tightly-held ideas. Done thoroughly, “but I really don’t know” can pull the rug out from under our most cherished limiting beliefs. All too often we don’t question our beliefs. And, since virtually every train of thought has some implicit belief, when we question our thoughts, we question these beliefs. This is similar to the lessons in the Course In Miracles “My thoughts don’t mean anything” and “I have given the meaning to everything I see”.

Photo credit.

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