A relationship coach shares her top tips on how to date with ease…
Single and dating? Does it feel like a jungle out there? Do you feel your head spinning with the numerous contradicting dating rules that have somehow become common knowledge in modern dating. You’ve probably come across some of these main offenders like don’t be too available, don’t be too distant, don’t respond too quickly – make them wait, you don’t want to look needy; but don’t make them wait too long, they’ll lose interest. It’s enough to turn anyone off dating. But it doesn’t have to be this hard. Read on for some expert tips from relationship coach Nathalie Sommer to help you bring the fun and excitement back into the dating process.
Are you tired of receiving late-night texts or phone calls? Or maybe you’re fed up with the lack of attention from the person you’ve been dating – perhaps they don’t call or ever initiate the next date? First of all, identify what behaviour isn’t working for you. Then, talk to them about how that behaviour makes you feel. You’ll find that people generally listen when we talk about our feelings, and won’t hold it against you.
You could say something like, “I enjoy spending time with you and I think you’re amazing (start with the positive), but I feel we might not be on the same page. I want to get to know you better, but if you’re not available for that, I feel I’m wasting my time, and I feel sad (set the boundary with the emphasis on feelings). If something doesn’t change, we will have to stop communicating. I trust you will respect my feelings as I enjoy our time spent together (end on a positive note)”.
A little tip: make sure you follow through with the consequence if they don’t step up! Otherwise, they’ll know if you’re bluffing next time and won’t take you seriously. Additionally, it sets a precarious precedent for your future relationships.
How To Respond When Someone Ghosts You
Ghosting, as some of us may know all too well, is when someone you’ve been dating suddenly stops all communication with you and pretty much drops off the face of the earth. You can think everything is going well and then next minute they’re gone, and you’re left wondering what happened. Firstly, be sure you’re actually being ghosted and that their absence is not a coincidence. You can say something along the lines of, “I haven’t heard from you in a long while, so I am going to assume this isn’t going any further. It would be nice to get some clarity”.
Give a time limit for when you want to hear from them, and if you don’t hear back by the deadline, then cease all contact and delete everything related to them. This will not be so easy, but you want to take the high road wherever possible. There are many different reasons people ghost (fear of the unknown, conflict avoidance etc.) but whatever the reason, this is something they have to work on – do not blame yourself.
Understanding The Power Of Polarity
The dating game is incredibly sexy, fun and beautiful when you know how to play with the balance of masculine and feminine (not so much in a gender-related sense, think of it like Yin & Yang) and create polarity. If you want to attract someone that leads, is ambitious, assertive and desires y0u (leading in their yang), you have to invite them to dance with you as you lean into your playful, receptive energy (surrender into your yin).
When you’re in your yin energy, dating can be easy and fun once you get out of your head and work on your belief system. Stand firm in the feminine yin energy and realise your worth and power. From that place, you’ll be able to attract the right match. The masculine yang energy would give anything to be with someone easy going, and fun. Let them come to you!
Connect To Your Sensual Being
We all have sensual and intimate desires, and getting clear about your needs and wants allows you to be more powerful and confident with that part of yourself. To fully own that, you simply need to explore that side of you, both inside and outside the bedroom. Take some time to discover what gives you sexual pleasure. Or practice dialling up your body language – move slowly and sensually, soften your voice, lean back – it’s fun and playful and flirty!
Shifting Your Beliefs
Make it a goal to be your authentic self when dating. As cliché as it sounds, staying true to you involves your “inner” game matching your “outer” game. The first step is to be honest with yourself, look at your beliefs around relationships, acknowledge your past patterns and restore your self-worth. Once you do that, you’ll notice everything shifts and others will feel it, too. Trust me when I say they’ll line up to spend time with you because they want to feel free with you.
Here are some things you can do:
- Journal and reflect on what your past relationships had in common. Ask yourself; how did I feel in my previous relationships (what felt right/what felt wrong)? What did they have in common? What were my learnings? Where do I need to take responsibility? How do I want to feel in the next relationship?
- Do more of the things that help you connect with your inner self (i.e. being in nature, reading a book, journalling, practising mindfulness, connecting with your body through dance, yoga and meditation, etc.).
- If you want to improve your relationship with others and open yourself up to true intimacy, you first need to strengthen your relationship with yourself.
- Read the book Wired For Love to help you understand your own and others’ attachment styles to create healthy relationships.
Your Vulnerability Is Strength
To paraphrase Brene Brown, no act of courage has ever taken place without first stepping into vulnerability. In other words, it’s time to be courageous, follow your gut and do YOU. It’s only natural to want to protect ourselves from having our feelings hurt and to evade rejection. Being vulnerable is a risk we have to take to experience any kind of meaningful connection.
Take the lead in revealing yourself according to your level of trust and comfort, and create a space where honest, revelatory and expansive conversations can occur (you might be surprised how others start doing the same). Does it put us at greater risk of getting hurt? Yes! That’s why we tend to avoid it, and why we created these parameters around dating. We want to protect ourselves from being hurt, so we reject vulnerability, but in doing so, we also deny ourselves the possibility of connection, belonging, joy and genuine happiness. Being hurt by the wrong person is a risk worth taking to connect with the right person.