In dating, most people feel bound by rules. Instead of doing what they really want, or pursuing their own agenda, they do what they feel they should. They compromise their behaviors to be liked, instead of being honest. These kinds of singles are typically deemed “nice” and are rarely successful.
In life we make choices. In dating we tend to make choices that jeopardize our happiness because we want the person that we’re making the choices for to like us. If you aren’t clear WHY you’re making the choices that you’re making, it will never truly feel like a choice.
Like many of us, at some point in your life someone told you that you couldn’t do something that you really wanted to do. As children our behavior, is heavily policed. We are placed on schedules and trained by rules that partly keep us safe and partly controlled. While we are seemingly free, the memes of what we should or shouldn’t do weigh heavily on us. Whether through religion or our parental discipline, many adults, for most of their lives, are bound by rules that have scared them straight. Living by the concepts of what’s socially acceptable, what is fair, what is right etc. constricts us well into adulthood.
Fast forward to now.
There are two distinct barriers that prevent most singles from taking control of their love lives:
1. They don’t do what they know they should
2. They do what they know they shouldn’t
Think about a time in dating when you wanted to make a different decision, choose a different behavior, say or act differently than you did. Why did you do it? Were you afraid of being judged, or rejected. Afraid the person would be angry, or become turned off? What do you want to do, what do you think you should do – and can you tell the difference?
The answers to these questions could be the solution to your dating life.
WHAT’S YOUR MOTIVATION?
The first key to dating by your own rules is to understand your motivation. What is causing you to act, feel, and behave this way. Are you motivated by excitement, fun, adventure or fear, attention, or comfort? Consider this scenario: You see a good-looking stranger and you want to speak to them. You know you should say hello but you can’t seem to work up the nerve. What do you think you should do? Talk to them of course, what do you want to do? Avoid rejection.
What about this: You’ve been dating someone for two weeks and suddenly they aren’t returning your calls. What should you do? Probably leave them alone until you hear from them. What do you want to do; call them repeatedly until they answer.
We aren’t always aware of the unintentional limitations. We are following traditional rules that we don’t even like, or modeling the behavior of adults before us.
ARE YOU POSITIVELY EMPOWERED?
Dating by your own rules means empowering yourself to make positive choices. When we feel rejected, we empower ourselves to sit outside a lovers’ house. When we feel insecure, we empower ourselves to go through someone’s phone. When we feel disrespected we empower ourselves to cuss our date out for not being considerate of our feelings but we don’t empower ourselves to just leave this person alone.
We don’t empower ourselves to be free of the person who causes us so much anxiety in the first place. We don’t empower ourselves to even feel powerful in dating! Why is that? You have choices, my friend. Empower yourself to walk away from any situation that causes you to compromise your value.
CREATE NEW RULES
It’s easy to live by other people’s rules if we haven’t intentionally created our own. What are your rules for dating that you can start to act on, and live by? Design your rules by the results you’re after and how likely your actions are to bring them about. You have the ability to create rules that work best for you.