In a recent mindfulness class I attended, the instructor said the following: “80% of change is awareness.”
In other words, if you want to make changes in any part of your life, the first, most important step is to have an awareness of what’s stopping you from creating that change.
This is a HUGE part of what I do in my dating coaching business when working with singles who want to create change in their love lives.
People like to say dating is a numbers game. While I agree to a point (the more people you date the more you discover who’s right for you and weed out incompatible men) and encourage women to date frequently and purposefully, I also believe a woman could date until she’s blue in the face and not feel like she’s getting anywhere.
In fact, I’ve seen this happen countless times. Women date compulsively but are still confused as to why they’re alone or why they can’t find anyone suitable.
At the heart of their difficulties is a lack of awareness about what’s really holding them back. For example, when it comes to their dating life they:
- turn cold on dates;
- are super picky;
- work too much
And on and on.
Maybe some women even acknowledge that they do these types of things, but the key here is understanding what’s behind their behaviors, feelings, and thought processes.
So using the aforementioned bullet points, maybe through coaching we discover that:
- The woman who continually self-sabotages a new relationship or a dating situation that is going well does so because she’s afraid of truly becoming vulnerable. We would then drill down into her specific fears surrounding vulnerability.
- The woman who turns cold on dates may be friendly to people in other areas of her life, but when in romantic situations (i.e. dates), she puts a wall up because of her last few bad experiences with men. We would then drill down into the specifics of her past experiences, her deeper feelings about men, and her real fears about relationships.
- The woman who is super picky may be this way because of her own fears about commitment. We would then drill down into what’s behind her fears surrounding commitment and intimacy.
- The woman who works too much may throw herself into her job, because she gets to avoid all the things about love, relationships, and intimacy that frighten her. She uses her workaholic ways as a way to mask these deeper, hidden fears.
Unless the underlying reasons for these and other types of internal struggles are unpacked and addressed and then actively confronted, a woman most likely will continue along the same dating path of anger, apathy, resentment, and cynicism – all emotions that are not compatible with attracting in boyfriend-material, emotionally available men of good character.
Now, never once have I said that introspection and developing awareness of your issues is easy. Growth rarely is easy (that’s why they call it “growing pains”!). But it’s really the only way to create change in your life.
You may even feel like the process of developing better self-awareness is a bit of a tease: you take one step forward only to feel like you’ve suddenly taken two steps back. Often times, when we become aware of why we do and say and feel things with regards to certain issues and situations, the light bulb starts to go off about other issues, and then we are in the thick of having to address new internal challenges. It’s as if the flood gates to awakening begin to open, which, as enlightening and liberating as it can ultimately be, can also feel overwhelming. This, however, is the process that needs to happen for you to find peace within yourself and peace within the world of dating, love, and relationships.
Take heart, ladies, in knowing that your awareness of your struggles, fears, patterns, thoughts, feelings, and the like, is what will set you on the road to personal freedom in your love life and is what will ultimately aid you in attracting (and being attracted to!) boyfriend-material men.
As Socrates famously said: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
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